Out of the many intriguing questions and crucial decisions faced by parents today, one that boggles most is ‘Where should my child study?’ Parents want their children to receive and enjoy qualitative education. A school is the second home to a child. It takes care of academic learning as well as helps build the social skills and the emotional quotient of every child. For those who travel from place to place, international schools are an ideal option as the quality of education is often consistent and they help in overcoming the problem of the language barrier. The question remains – Where should the child study? We enlist a few key points that need to be taken into consideration before choosing an International School for your child.
The curriculum options available in International schools are International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Assessment International Education (IGCSE and A Levels) and American Curriculum among others. The first step is to decide what Curriculum you want your child to follow. Once this gets decided you will realise that the list of schools narrows down.
From the shortlisted schools you will now have to check which of these schools have the Accreditation that matches the curriculum. You will want an accreditation that offers qualitative education for your child and that enables them to seek and join an institution of higher learning of their choice.
‘The early bird catches the worm’. Most schools have limits on the number of students who can be enrolled. Most of these schools have a monstrous waiting list. Some even hold admission tests and evaluations which sort out for them the students they wish to enrol. Going with the above proverb, it would be wise to get a head start into deciding the school of your choice. This way you can meet the application deadlines in time, put together the documentation required and help your child to prepare for whatever evaluations and tests may be required.
‘A school is a building which has four walls with Tomorrow inside’. The best institutions offer a wide range of facilities and amenities to students to help them excel – within and without the classroom. From the playground to the Library; from the Laboratories to the auditorium; from the black/whiteboard to the Interactive TV – quality schools invest in the best of infrastructure. You need to check what facilities are made available in order to nurture your child. Also focus on the Safety standards of the school.
Just as is the case for any commodity, an acceptable price (fees) is what must be kept in mind before deciding the school. The fees vary from school-to-school depending on various factors; a few being the location of the school and the facilities provided by the school. You need to be practical while taking into consideration the amount you plan to set aside for your child’s education.
- Student-Teacher Ratio
Most parents prefer that their child receive personalized attention. International Curriculum does not advocate numbers in a classroom. Hence most schools do not look to push for more students in a classroom. There is a two-way benefit if the ratio is small. The student gets noticed and the teacher is able to equal attention to all.
- Teacher Development Programmes
It’s a given that most parents today come from sound academic backgrounds and hence would insist on well trained and updated teachers teaching their children. Parents understand the impact the teachers will have on students given the fact that school time occupies nearly one-third of the day of their child. It is very important that you take into account not only the academic qualifications of teachers but also whether the teacher shows a personal interest in the development of your child.
It is very important that the home of the child is not too far from away from the school. An ideal distance between the school and home is 6 km.
- School Rank
Although not much can be read into the rank held by the school in the city, it is important to consider it. This refers to how well the students perform in their tests. This is also a reflection of the quality of teaching and teachers the school offers.
- Value based learning
Many parents today are giving preference to schools which, apart from focussing on academics and co-curricular activities, also give time to value based learning (Morals, Ethics and Value systems). Parents want holistic education for their children. Hence look for schools whose USP is to focus on Academics, Co-curriculars and Value Based Learning.Having said this, you as parents must also consider to what extent Parent involvement is allowed in managing the affairs of the school. ‘Does the school have a PTA?’ is a very important question to ask. You need to represent your views before the management.
As one of the best international schools in Mumbai, Mainadevi Bajaj International School provides a stimulating environment where every child is encouraged to achieve his/her full potential.