While in Mumbai, I (Pooja) had some candid conversations with my cousins (who now have school-aged children) about schooling. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has quickly become the new standard. My cousins spoke highly about the IB curriculum, noting that it encouraged students to view themselves as “global citizens.” The curriculum, they commented, deviated away from that of traditional schooling in India. The skills were now focused on: critical thinking; intercultural awareness; independent learning; evaluating and constructing arguments; and independent learning.
The pressures to get their children into an International Baccalaureate (IB) program were high. My cousins already had aspirations of sending their young children to top-performing universities outside of India (mostly in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.). A major concern I heard was that if they did not get into an IB program, how would they compete in this highly globalized world? I understood this to mean that in order to be competitive one had to be complete their formal education outside of India. This was concerning because competition aside, IB schools are extremely expensive, and so, not available to the vast majority of families in India. While very few are privileged to apply and possibly attend IB schools in India, most school children in India still attend public school. I am interested in learning more about the public school curriculum in Mumbai? How are public schools currently preparing their students to be “global citizens?” or is this a notion that is still intangible for most? Pooja