Students meditating in the classroom
With the humongous number of options that parents are offered nowadays when selecting the most suitable international school for their children, it seems like a cakewalk. There has been such a proliferation of schools offering international curriculums in Mumbai, more than 330 currently - that it would seem we are spoilt for choice. However, in reality, that isn't the case. At times we come across schools that have added the word International to their name but are catering to the local or national curriculums. At other times, despite offering an international curriculum, being the most tech-savvy and offering the state of the art facilities and infrastructure, some schools have a very limited understanding of what it actually means to be international i.e. having a vision that encompasses a world view, creating 21st century learning spaces, and encouraging learners to have a global perspective about all aspects. So, the selection of what parents would term as a 'perfect school" would have to be well thought out and heavily discussed, debated and deliberated. The decision would be a life-shaping or even a life-altering one.

Let us take a look at the 4 steps which will make it easy for you to reflect and decide on the best school for your child :

The School’s Affiliation To A Reputed International Board And Whether It Has Received The Needful Accreditation

This is a very important criteria and should never be overlooked. Most schools will have a number of honours and awards lining up the walls and shelves in their reception areas but it is crucial to check that the school has the appropriate certification of its international connection. Boards like the CAIE and the IBDP are quite stringent in awarding accreditation to schools. So, do take a look at certificates, plaques, letters and other such proof of affiliation. Some schools are certified by international companies or auditing firms too. Schools which have got their credentials ethically, will only be happy to share this information with you.

Teachers Undergoing Professional Development Training And Being Certified To Teach The Particular International Curriculum Offered By The School

eachers Undergoing Professional Development Training
Schools that genuinely care for the learners who enter their portals will always hire the best teachers who are efficient and trained. This is one area where no compromise should be accepted. Many international schools in Mumbai are focused on enhancing their teachers’ learning and ensure that the teachers are enrolled in professional development courses and attend relevant workshops conducted by a reputed organization or by the Exam Board itself. Other schools have devised their own in-house training programmes and also invite experts to conduct sessions with their teachers. Continuous learning has become very crucial, both for the learner and the teacher.

School Partnerships Or Exchange Programmes With Another International School Abroad Or Participation in various International Programmes/ Events

International events for schools and student exchange programmes are quite the norm now. Most international schools in Mumbai are a part of the British Council Connecting Classrooms project which leads to the ISA Award. Model United Nations (MUNs) are being held in numerous schools and learners are being encouraged to attend these councils. Many learners have undergone transformative experiences with EUMIND (Europe Meets India), an educational as well as a cultural exchange programme. These are the most popular ones but there are many such events and programmes that provide the required global exposure.

Promoting And Nurturing An International Outlook Among Its Staff, students And Parents

Ultimately, what really distinguishes a truly international school in Mumbai from all its competitors, is the vision of the school that inculcates a world view and a sense of tolerance and acceptance of people of all races, religions, communities, tribes and countries. Many schools now offer inclusive education in the truest sense of the term. Learners with difficulties are very well taken care of and assimilated into the schools. Foreign languages and interesting subjects are being taught as a part of the curriculum.

The international school headed by a capable and dynamic Principal opens its protective umbrella to include all the learners and staff members and parents too. Thus, it fosters a sense of togetherness and oneness of our Indian tradition with a global impact – VasudhaivaKutumbakam – where the spirit of world peace, unity, and harmony resides and reigns.

Hope these guidelines help you to gauge a school and make a well-informed choice for your child/children.

Ms NaghmaShaikh
A-levels English Faculty- JBCN International School, Borivali