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Education and Schools

India - Education and Schools


One in every five children and young people under the age of 25 alive today is based in India. Despite this, the state education system in India leaves a lot to be desired.

State Schools In India

According to the Indian Constitution, every child in India has a fundamental right to receive education from the age of six until they are 14. This entitlement was reinforced by the Right to Education Act 2009.

Thanks to high rates of enrolment, there are 260 million children and young people learning each day in India. Unfortunately, literacy rates and achievements in maths and science for state school pupils fall well short of their counterparts in the Western world.

Funding for schools comes from national and state government departments. To a certain extent, the low level of funding causes an issue for the education system, but this is only part of the problem. With 40 percent of state schools reportedly not having access to electricity, smart boards and educational software are out of the question. Old textbooks don’t use modern child-friendly teaching methods or focus on the skills and knowledge required today.

Teaching skills and experience also contribute substantially to the problem. Roughly a third of all teachers in India do not hold a degree. Very few have any idea of the teaching practices used in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Estonia, Finland or any of the other countries scoring highly on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests for pupil attainment in reading, maths and science.

Finally, there is also an issue about mismanaged resources. For example, teaching absenteeism rates are high, and even when present, teachers are often engaged in activities other than teaching. A study by Kremer et al. (2005) included three unannounced visits to 3,700 schools in 20 states during 2003. Some 25 percent of teachers in primary schools were absent, and only half of the teachers in the building were actually teaching.

Private Schools In India

Thanks to India’s strong social class divisions, the high cultural value placed on education, and the widespread lack of good provision across the state education system, just about anyone who can afford to do so sends their children to private schools. These range from local neighbourhood schools with low fees and basic facilities to large boarding schools with private rooms and great sports provision.

As an expat, you are likely to have a clear view of the differences between typical private schools and international schools. The latter usually have a teaching and student body made up of many nationalities, as well as an overseas curriculum and exam system. However, there are some allegedly international schools which have few of these elements.

Conversely, some private schools which are not called international schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB). The Banyan Tree School, found in six locations, is one such example.

There has been some controversy over the Islamic international school in Mumbai. Stories like these are a reminder to parents that India is a country where careful checks must be done before investing your child’s future or your money in one institution. Make sure you visit every school you are considering, get recommendations from other parents and sources, and understand the school’s board and funding model.

The MomJunction.com article ‘30 Top And Best International Schools’ is a good place to start your search. We have also listed a selection of international schools, with quotes from their websites, which you may wish to investigate further.

International Schools In New Delhi

American Embassy School

“The American Embassy School (AES) is located in the heart of the diplomatic community of New Delhi. AES serves pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students from the United States and other nations. We provide an exceptional American education with an international perspective.”

The British School, New Delhi

“The British School is an international, not-for-profit school located in the heart of the diplomatic area of New Delhi. The 54-year old school offers high quality education to expatriate and local families by drawing on the best facets of a rich and culturally diverse community. We offer the national curriculum of England adapted to an international context, the IGCSE and the IB diploma programme. With students from nearly 60 nationalities, the school provides student-centred education in a safe, stimulating and multicultural environment.”

German School, New Delhi

“Our school is situated in the quiet diplomatic area of New Delhi. We provide education for kindergarten, elementary and high school students, leading to completion of the Abitur (general qualification for university entrance). As a recognised German school abroad, we tackle changing societal requirements and develop our school together with our students, parents and teachers. Transparency and participation are key to our school philosophy.”

Lycée Français Internationale de Delhi

“The Lycée Français International de Delhi is part of a network of schools under the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE). The school was established in 1962 and currently enrols over 350 students from over 40 countries in classes from pre-k (toute petite section for two-year-olds) up to 12th grade (terminale).

“Teaching corresponds to the French curriculum. Within this framework, the Lycée Français International de Delhi promotes the values of French educational system in addition to its regular role defined in the school charter. All certificates at the primary level are bilingual (French and English). The school has a resolute objective to focus on learning languages, excellent exam results and openness to the Indian culture.”

Amity International School, Saket

“The school stands true to Amity's philosophy of ‘where modernity blends with tradition’. Garnering the best from Indian traditional values and international education systems, the school has developed a pattern of holistic education. While Amitians develop an appreciation of human values like tolerance, brotherhood, respect for elders, patriotism and sanskaras, they also excel in leadership summits, MUNs, national and international competitions and more.”

Russian Embassy School, Delhi

All website content is in Russian.

Japanese School, New Delhi

All website content is in Japanese.

Excelsior American School, Gurgaon NCR

“The Excelsior American School is one of the best international schools, located in the heart of Gurgaon. It is a 9-year-old day boarding school in Gurgaon which offers the international curriculum from the Cambridge international examinations, University of Cambridge, UK for pre-nursery through grade 12. It is not only considered one of the best residential schools in India but a lot more than this. Excelsior American School’s mission is to develop in its students a strong sense of self-worth and responsibility to prepare them to become life-long learners and responsible citizens of the society. We bring this difference by incorporating international pedagogy and innovative teaching practices in our curriculum to invoke in our students the inherent curiosity and love for learning. We proudly say that in just nine years, we are among best residential schools in India.”

American Montessori Public School, Gurgaon, NCR

“American Montessori Public School was established in 1995 in DLF City Phase-II to impart quality education, including philosophy and methodology along with traditional education. It is a co-educational English medium school affiliated to CBSE and running systematically on the 10+2 CBSE pattern. The school is located in a picturesque locality close to the Delhi-Jaipur highway, thus being easily accessible to students from South Delhi, DLF and Gurgaon areas.

“American Montessori Public School is spacious, offering a warm intimate environment combined with modern day facilities for students emerging in to rapidly changing world. The Wing is situated at Cassia Marg, DLF City Phase-II and the Senior Wing is located at L-Block, DLF City Phase-II.”

International Schools In Mumbai, India

American School Of Bombay

“The American School of Bombay is a college preparatory, co-educational independent day school from Pre-K through Grade 12.”

DBS International School, Mumbai

“DSB International is the only school in Mumbai which provides the national curriculum of England and the German curriculum of Thüringen. Students can enter early years at our vibrant primary school from the age of three. At secondary, students progress from the Cambridge IGCSE to the IB Diploma, preparing them for university anywhere in the world.”

Ecole Mondiale World School

“Ecole Mondiale is an authorised International Baccalaureate World School for the IB primary years programme (PYP), middle years programme (MYP) and the diploma programme (DP).”

Edubridge International School, Mumbai

“The only IB School in South Mumbai authorised to teach the three IB programmes: PYP, MYP and DP. A co-educational school, Edubridge uses the best practices available in International Education.”

Japanese School Of Mumbai

All content on the website is in Japanese.

L’Ecole Française Internationale de Bombay

“EFIB welcomes students and teachers of different nationalities. The school stresses the importance of learning the English language from pre-primary school. Support classes are offered for both French students with little English knowledge and non-French students with little French background.

“The school follows the educational programs, as set by the ‘Official Guidelines for the French National Education’, which guarantee its students the possibility of continuing schooling in France in all public or private institutions and in all other recognised French schools abroad. Furthermore, the French diploma ‘Baccalaureat Français’ is recognised almost everywhere in the world.”

Singapore International School, Mumbai

“Singapore International School (SIS) is located in the midst of nature, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai life. With state-of-the-art infrastructure, it is the only co-educational institution in Mumbai that provides term, monthly, weekly and day boarding facilities. SIS offers a comprehensive programme structured in four levels. From kindergarten through grade 6, learning is anchored in the Singaporean curriculum. The Reggio Emilia approach has also been used within the framework of the IB primary years programme.”

International Schools In Other Areas Of India

ERA International School, Andhra Pradesh

“ERA International School believes in nurturing globally-minded scholars who take pride in embracing Indian values.”

Oakridge International School, Andhra Pradesh

“Oakridge is dedicated to nurturing responsive and motivated students through a dynamic and success-oriented education program. The program empowers students to gain an indigenous as well as global perspective on various aspects. With its world-class campuses in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam and Chandigarh, Oakridge is regarded as one of India's top international schools with its high standards of teaching methodology, technology collaboration, and global culture in every aspect of learning.”

Bivha International School, Bihar

“Bivha International School (BIS) offer classes from play school to graduate level. BIS delivers an International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for years one to six, and students in years seven to 13 are taught through a UK based curriculum with an international flavour, preparing them for IGCSE, AS and A Level. It also provides CBSE and ICSE curriculum along with IB and IGCSE.”

Ahmedabad International School, Gujarat

“Flexibility in curriculum choices allows our students to pursue the college of their choice. Up to grade seven, all students follow the IB-PYP. For grades eight to 10, students can choose between CIE-IGCSE and Gujarat State Board SSC. Grades 11 and 12 students choose from IBDP, CIE AS & A Levels, and the Gujarat State Board HSC.”

Universities In India

There are more than 700 universities and institutions of equal status across India offering degrees to a primarily domestic student body. Almost 50,000 further colleges and institutions also offer a huge range of courses including affiliated degrees. Between them they have more than 20 million enrolled students.

The different types of institutions offering higher education courses in India are:

● Central universities

● State universities

● Private universities

● Deemed universities

● Institutes of national importance

The QS World University Rankings 2016/17 included only seven of India’s higher education institutions. All of them are institutes of national importance with an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education. They are:

● Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (152nd)

● Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (185th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (219th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Madras (249th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (302nd)

● Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (313th)

● Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (399th).

Another 360,000 Indian students are studying at universities in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada and New Zealand in a trend for international study which is rapidly gaining momentum. Many Indian families who can afford the high student fees and living costs of the Western world feel it is a good investment for their young person to access the skills and opportunities that may not be on offer locally.


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