Helpful school information for NRI’s relocating to India

For NRI families relocating to India, schooling for their children is one of their biggest decisions. Returning from western countries such as USA, UK and other European countries that have very different education systems compared to India, identifying a school that matches the expectations is a big challenge.

Key Differences

Following are some aspects of the education system in western countries that are different from the education system in India. Having a better understanding of these aspects would help a great deal in shortlisting the right school.

Please note that taken the following points are an attempt to highlight the differences between Indian Educational system and Western Educational system. Practices from USA are taken more in to consideration to represent the Western system, though the below points are relevant to majority of Western countries.

  • Student-Teacher Ratio: There are limited students per teacher in a classroom, say 25, in countries such as USA, as opposed to much larger number of students in India, say 60, per teacher. This provides a good platform for the teachers to pay personal attention to the progress of the student.
  • Teaching Methods: Teaching Methods are vastly different in USA. Variety of teaching aids such as – Multi-Media, Computers, Overhead Projectors, Web Cam, Virtual or Online Learning etc., are extensively used now. While many of these teaching aids are extensively used in developed countries like USA, most of the schools in India will not offer all such methods, primarily due to higher investments and capital expenditures involved. But point to note is that changes in economic conditions and emphasis on the value gained from using such methods have resulted in many schools, especially in cities.
  • Sports and Playgrounds: With the belief that involvement in sports and games leads to better mental and physical health, discipline, power of reasoning and mental development, Sports and Games are given the same importance as studies in western countries like USA and Canada. To support such activities, schools in USA have large amounts of land dedicated for outdoor sport activities.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Extracurricular activities are given high importance and equal priority as academics. Activities include Drama, Singing, Theatre, Painting, Debate, Band and Choir etc., Facilities for supporting these activities make up an important part of school’s infrastructure.
  • Approach: USA offers a flexible educational system with emphasis on providing platform for students to think about the leaning in a practical approach rather than a traditional approach in India, where the teaching is more tuned towards textbook learning.
  • Foreign Language Subject: Many foreign languages are taught in US school system as a second language. French, Spanish, Mandarin and German are popular, though the availability of languages differs by state.

           Foreign Language Subject is an important consideration for the parents in finalizing the school for their children. This topic is            particularly important for the following reasons:

  • The learning curve involved in adapting to any Indian language such as Hindi, Kannada, Telugu or Sanskrit can be daunting for students returning from abroad. This is especially challenging if the student had all her/his previous education abroad or have spent majority of the fromative schooling years abroad.
  • In the event the parents are planning to send their children abroad for their higher studies, it is very vital to give due emphasis on this matter. In USA, Foreign Language subject is considered to be an important foundation in the school years. Ability to learn a foreign language provides the platform to the students to compete in the global marketplace. Relevance of foreign language is particularly important in professions such as Health Care, Social Service, Service Industry and Education. These professions underscore such need to gain an edge that reflects the changed world environment and increasingly diverse U.S. population. As an example, consider the changing demographics of US population, especially that of Spanish speaking immigrants. This demographic is increasing at a staggering pace. Given this change, it is vital to have knowledge in speaking Spanish for professions such as Medical and other healthcare functions.

Syllabus: The biggest differentiator is perhaps the syllabus and other related attributes involved.

  • Flexibility – USA and European Educational system offer great flexibility in choosing the subjects, while in India the traditional setup is more rigid.
  • Compulsory Subjects – Mathematics is compulsory till 10 th standard in India whereas this is optional in the US. This has helped India achieve considerable higher standards and achieve better success in STEM subjects and disciplines such as Engineering and IT.
  • Learning – The learning aspect in US is more of a practical approach where the emphasis is more on exploring and understanding the concepts, even in smaller increments. Educational system in India is very rigorous and book knowledge is more emphasized than practical learning.

Schools offering International Curriculum in Bangalore City

City of Bangalore has wide variety of schools with varying syllabus offerings. Many International Schools in Bangalore offer International curriculam to suit the children returning to India to acclimatize with the changed environment. While CBSE and ICSE remain popular choices, IGSCE and IB are gaining acceptance, especially with children continuing their education in India after returning from abroad