Moving your kids from a school in the Middle East to a school in India

Are you a parent who is living in the Middle East but planning to relocate to India? Are you worried how your child will cope with the switch in the educational format? Your concern is justified as the whole relocation process can play a toll on not only your child’s mind but his studies as well. There is a vast difference between the cultures in the Middle East and India and children or any student for that matter can find it extremely demanding to cope with in the beginning.

There are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before planning your relocation. Like, which city in India has good schools? Does the school that you are considering have transfer system which will let your child carry his/her credits from the previous school? Which school board will allow a smoother transition? It is important to get all your queries resolved before zeroing down on a school.

The Middle East is known for its diverse culture. There are some schools that offer Indian curriculums and switching from such schools would be easy. On the other hand, switching from schools that do not offer such curriculums would be challenging.

Here is a sneak-peak into the various boards of education in India which would best suit the immigrants from the Middle Eastern countries:

CISCE- Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination:
  • There are schools in UAE that offer the CISCE syllabus. This is a broad classification that includes ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination), ISC (Indian school certificate) and the CVE (Certificate of Vocational Education).
  • The primary language of education is English. Science is a compulsory subject in this board till grade 8.
  • The curriculum is known to focus widely on the overall development of the students. The CVE, for example, is directed towards a more focused approach where students can choose to learn particular vocations.
  • Be it the ICSE (class X) or the ISC (class XII) or the CVE (class XII) board examinations, they all focus on testing the student’s understanding of the concepts.
  • The ability to apply the acquired knowledge is also tested in the examinations.
  • The teaching methods are known to be a lot similar to some international teaching methods. So the children would not find it difficult to get accommodated in these boards when they relocate.

Some of the best international CISCE schools in Bangalore have easy transfer programs that allow students to easily start from where they left, without too many complicated formalities. Foreign languages are also offered either as electives or as a second language. This helps in preparing the students to expand their horizon.

CBSE – Central Board of Secondary Education
  • The second most popular choice for students moving from the middle-east to India is the Central Board of Secondary Education. This is another Indian curriculum that can also be found in some of the famous schools in the UAE.
  • These do have a choice in the primary language of education, which is English or Hindi as there are both Hindi and English Medium CBSE schools.
  • This board is known for its grading system that makes up for the flaws in the common systems of scoring based on marks.
  • The subjects that are covered in this curriculum are also known for their application based approach.

This is a very competitive board that is known for Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation system. Also, there are numerous talent search examinations and grading occasions for students to evaluate their progress and understand their core strengths.

IB-International Baccalaureate
  • This is another curriculum that is common among schools in India and the UAE. There is the PYP or Primary Year Program, MYP or Middle Year Program, and DP- Diploma Program.
  • The primary language in this curriculum is English.
  • The IB curriculum is more practical and application-based. It has a broader spectrum of subjects that lead to all-round development.
  • IB examinations test students’ knowledge, not their memory and speed. There are no examinations till the MYP (Class 10). The focus of the IB pedagogy is on ‘how to learn’ rather than ‘what to learn’.
  • There are no prescribed textbooks as students can choose their own books.
  • The purpose of curriculum is to create global citizens.

Parents can choose this board mainly because of the fact that the curriculum is known for its worldwide recognition. So in future, if the family relocates to any country in the world, they would be able to find a school that supports IB syllabus.

The key, while zeroing down on the education boards in India after emigrating from the Middle East would be to choose a board that allows for a smoother transition and gives children the time to adapt. Plan ahead and do your research. You can even contact the desired schools few months prior to the relocation and ask them for the details. This will make your decision easy and the academic transition for your child simple.

(Edvantage Point is India’s go-to platform for related products and services. We are into admissions management for schools, career advice and counselling services for students as well as recruitment services).

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