Can the Indian Middle-Class Afford International Baccalaureate Schools for their kids?

 

In the last ten years the number of International Baccalaureate schools in India has risen tenfold…from 40 to over 470. These schools usually follow a curriculum prescribed by International Baccalaureate, Cambridge International Examinations or Edexcel. Some CBSE and ICSE schools also follow a combination of local and International curricula.

COST OF ADMISSION IN IB SCHOOLS

Let’s look at the fee structure of the top six IB schools in India for admissions to Playgroup, Nursery, KG-I and KG-II, Grade-I:

Name of school One time fee

INR approx.

Recurring fees

INR approx.

Woodstock School 2,65,000 7,90,000
Ecole Mondiale World School 6,10,000 6,90,000
Doon School 3,50,000 9,70,000
Scindia School 3,22,000 6,75,000
Mayo College (IB school) 4,00,000 5,91,000
Welham Boys School 3,01,000 6,00,000

Fees for upper grades are even higher.

One would expect the fee structure to be a deterrent but in reality there has been an increasing demand for IB schools. The apparent reason why parents are willing to pay such high sums is – so that their children can follow an education system that is similar to the one in the U.S. or UK. The ultimate goal is to be eligible for admission in one of the top Engineering, Medical or Business Schools in the world.

Not surprisingly, there is a waiting list for admissions even to Playgroup in some of the top International Baccalaureate schools in India. The probable reasons are:

  • The schools have a high standard of education and state-of-the-art infrastructure,
  • They students develop the ability to think independently because of the interactive study sessions,
  • The co-curricular activities that involve creativity, action and service (CAS) improve the global and local awareness of students,
  • Subjects like humanities and fine arts help to develop hidden talents of individual students,
  • The children develop non-academic skills like setting goals, strategic planning, organization and implementation,
  • The kids learn soft skills like cooperation, sharing, compassion, etc,
  • Education in a reputed IB school makes it easier to seek admission in highly ranked colleges and universities across the globe,
  • In some cases for snob value.

Another important reason for this paradigm shift was the pressure on students in local schools for better and better grades; leading to increasing cases of school dropouts and student suicides.

CAN THE INDIAN MIDDLE CLASS AFFORD IB SCHOOL EDUCATION FOR THEIR KIDS?

Of the 400+ schools, the fees of all the IB schools across India are not as high as the top six. Even so they charge a lot more than the local schools.

Nationalised banks in India offer educational loans only in cases where admission is sought in an ICSE, CBSE or state board school. But one can avail of a personal loan from banks or private finance companies depending on your family income and capacity to pay back the loan. Parents are willing to make sacrifices to give their children the best education. Personal loans at affordable rates have made it possible for middle class parents to opt for International schools for their kids over state schools.

Central Board, Delhi Board and state board schools will have to considerably revise their curriculum to match the International schools. From the current trend one can safely say that the culture of International Baccalaureate schools in India is here to stay.

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