India is a country with one of the largest youth populations in the world. And with a generation of massive proportions coming of age - the questions of education, career and opportunities becomes an increasingly crucial one. The Indian education system offers a variety of boards - ICSE, CBSE and individual state boards. However, the educational landscape in the country also features prominent international players - IB being one of the most popular among them. So far the general idea has been that IB will prepare students to pursue higher education outside the country. However, proponents of the IB pedagogy propose that the system of education in the International Baccalaureate has far more significant benefits.
Haif Bannayan, Global Director of Business Development
To decode these very benefits, The Telegraph Online Edugraph started a conversation with Haif Bannayan, the Director of Global Business Development at IB. Here are some excerpts from the interview.
- Give us an idea of IB in a nutshell.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a global leader in international education—that develops inquiring, knowledgeable, confident, and caring young people. Founded in 1968, the IB is an ever-growing worldwide community of students, educators, and schools, with a shared mission to create a better, more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
The IB aims to offer the best possible education for students of all backgrounds by inspiring young people to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and engineers of tomorrow, ready to solve society's most pressing challenges through four challenging, high-quality educational programmes to students aged 3 to 19. The IB footprint spans across 159 countries and more than 5,700 schools. As of June 2023, there are over 7,900 IB programmes offered worldwide.
2. What do you think is the potential for growth of IB programmes and schools in India?
The IB has been operating in India since 1976 and in the last five years, we have witnessed a significant growth. From 2019 to 2023, the number of IB World Schools authorized in India has grown by 31%. Currently, there are 226 IB World Schools across the country, offering a total of 378 authorized IB programmes. The Diploma Programme (DP) has been recognised by the Association of Indian Universities since 1983, IBCP is recognised by AIU since 2021., making it eligible for all universities in India.
● 138 schools offering PYP programs
● 59 schools offering MYP programs
● 155 schools offering DP programs
● 26 schools offering CP programs
3. How have Indian students benefited from the IB curriculum?
The 226 IB World Schools serving students in India offer a transformational educational experience for students compared to traditional systems that focus primarily on academics. The IB curriculum is designed to give students the foundation to develop the cognitive, social and emotional skills they will need to thrive.
The IB is also renowned for its international-minded atmosphere, where the student can master a second language and develop nuanced cultural awareness, helping them become more open-minded as well as opening the opportunity to live and work in different countries. As well as developing a global outlook, the IB fosters a caring attitude, giving the students opportunities to get involved in their local community through personal projects and service. They will learn the creativity and confidence to reimagine solutions, or devise better ones, so they can take action to make the world a better place.
The IB celebrates local culture while encouraging students to challenge their views through a broader global lens, respect and embrace cultural differences and see others’ viewpoints as a rich source of new perspectives and ideas. Facing the challenges of the 21st century requires deliberate effort to cultivate the competencies that students need to respond to the demands of the labour market.
4. What are the future plans of IB to strengthen its course in India, particularly in light of NEP 2020?
The IB recognizes the importance of adapting to the evolving educational landscape in India and looks forward to opportunities for discussion with leaders to provide more students with a high quality, global-minded education. The IB continues to explore partnership building with Indian schools, governments, and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment, which encourage students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners.
Our priorities emerge as we respond to the ongoing and emerging challenges. By 2030 the IB will be more open, more progressive, and more forward-thinking.
5.What are some factors that set IB schools apart?
While looking out for an IB school, one should look out for the following things:
An IB World School accreditation signifies that a school has met the rigorous standards set by the International Baccalaureate (IB). It demonstrates the school's dedication to maintaining the high quality of education associated with the IB curriculum.
● Curriculum and Programmes:
Evaluate the specific IB programmes offered by the school, such as the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career-related Programme (CP). Consider whether the curriculum aligns with your child's educational needs and goals.
• Professional Development:
The IB sees teachers as essential to the success of the school and as part of a professional learning community. The IB recognises that educators lead the way in providing a comprehensive international education for students. We offer a wide variety of professional development resources and tools, so they are trained to be catalysts for infusing higher order thinking skills into a new generation of learners and leaders.
It seems that the International Baccalaureate (IB) system has its fair share of takers in the country, and going by Mr Bannayan opinions, the curriculum is here to stay.