The IB way

The IB diploma—which started in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit education al foundation—has been designed for students who want to excel in their chosen fields, and are looking for a course structure and design that is markedly different from prgorammes like the GCE Cambridge A Level or +2.

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The IB or International Baccalaureate—currently being offered in Nepal by Ullens School in Khumaltar—is a two-year course for students who have completed the 10th grade, and are looking for higher education al options now that they’ve finished their SLCs. A viable alternative to the A Level or +2, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme has been available at Ullens since 2009. The school has so far produced two batches of IB graduates, and the class of 2011/12 will be appearing for their final examinations this May.

The IB diploma—which started in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit education al foundation—has been designed for students who want to excel in their chosen fields, and are looking for a course structure and design that is markedly different from prgorammes like the GCE Cambridge A Level or +2. The curriculum itself is composed of six diverse groups that call on different faculties of the human mind to be explored. At Ullens, students have the option of studying either English or Nepali as part of their ‘Group 1’ study. ‘Group 2’, on the other hand, is more focused on the linguistic and functional aspects of any given second language. Other groups are categorised as ‘Group 3: Individuals and Societies’, ‘Group 4: Experimental Sciences’, ‘Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science’ and ‘Group 6: Arts and Music’

Analytical and practical learning lies at the core of the education provided at Ullens, and its flagship course, the IB can be an interesting alternative to ambitious students. While the course is certainly more expensive than other high-school diplomas being offered in the country, its international credibility and all-inclusive syllabus make it worth the while for most. Among its six compulsory courses, students can opt for three high-level and three standard-level ones.

The three core-part subjects taught as part of the IB course are categorised as the extended essay, TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and CAS (Creativity, Action, Service). Since all students need to make sure that they attend all three courses they partake in activities such as drawing, painting, outdoor sports and social service besides the conventional classroom education . Students who do not fulfill the given criteria will not be able to graduate.

As an international course that is offered the world over, the IB programme is quite expensive. However, principal of Ullens School Medin Lamichane says the course-fee in Nepal is relatively low when compared to the same of other countries. “It is very hard to attain an IB affiliation,” he says. “We need to fulfill all standards and the course needs extra labour. In fact below-average students cannot expect to pass the course.” The IB course in Ullens can be completed at a cost of Rs 1.2-1.3 million, and 25 percent of all students are studying with scholarships. The IB degree is internationally recognised and reputed universities from all over the world tend to priorities IB graduates over others, informs Lamichane.

IB students from Ullens have so far been enrolled in universities in India, Singapore, the UK, Canada and the US, among others. Around 45 students will be enrolled in Ullens’ IB programme this year. “Many students are interested in the programme, but we need to make sure that the student to teacher ratio is 4:1,” says Dinesh Shrestha, Ullens’ IB co-ordinator. “The IB committee scrupulously monitors all schools in the first five years of affiliation and can scrap the same if it finds that standards are not met,” he adds. “There is therefore no compromising when it comes to the quality of education .”

source: The Kathmandu post,9 april 2013

2013-04-09 | EducateNepal

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