In India, the number of schools with IB (International Baccalaureate) has witnessed a nearly ten-fold increase during the last ten years. In 2003, there were a mere 11 schools offering the IB programme. By 2013, this had gone up to 107. Maharashtra leads the way with 41 schools.
Furthermore, other international school programmes have become more popular as well. The study conducted by the National University of Educational Planning & Administration said that as of 2013, there were 478 international schools affiliated to three foreign boards – the Geneva-headquartered IB, Cambridge International Examination (CIE) and Edexcel, both based in the UK. These are spread across 19 Indian states, with the highest number (318 schools) affiliated to CIE, followed by IB (102) and Edexcel (58). Seventy-six schools are affiliated to both CIE and IB. Incidentally, Maharashtra has the highest number of CIE schools as well at 96.
It has been suggested inastudy commissioned by the Human Resource Development ministry that the government initiate a policy framework for the establishment and regulation of international schools by setting up the International Schools Regulatory Authority (ISRA).
The study has asked the government to clearly specify the essential attributes of an international school. For instance, more than 20 per cent international mix of students and faculty could be one way of doing it. It has also been found that many private schools use the nomenclature of ‘international’ without any affiliation. “This needs to be curbed,” the study says.
NUEPA has also said that ISRA should regulate tuition fees and other charges commensurate to the expenses of the school. As for recruitment of foreign/international teachers, the study says there is a need for determining proportion of Indian and foreign teachers. Also, the HRD ministry in collaboration with foreign and labour ministry should evolve a visa policy for these teachers.
In the last five years, 67 IB and 139 CIE schools have taken direct affiliation with international boards without any national or state registration or national and state board affiliation, the study has noted. Then there are 236 schools which have dual affiliation from national (CBSE, CISCE and state boards) and international boards.
It may be mentioned that the IB diploma is awarded by IBO, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Fewer than a hundred IB World schools operate in India resulting in no more than a few thousand certificate holders.