Extensive learning opportunities for your child at Nahar International School

As parents, you have more school choices available now than at any time in recent history. With growing awareness among parents, they too may want to consider asking questions about opportunities for involvement beyond the typical school day, such as parent volunteering and after school programs. Do parents volunteer in and outside the classroom? Is there an active PTA? How often do parents meet with their child’s teacher? How do teachers and the administration keep parents informed? Do students have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities? How is participation encouraged or discouraged?
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Take time to learn about the options, understand each school’s educational programs and philosophies, and seek insight into the unique culture and community. After all, you are not only finding the best match for your child to thrive and grow, you are looking for a school to call home for several years.

Schools like Nahar International encourage the free spirit in every curious mind to imbibe, absorb, contribute and create new ideas and lines of thinking. The vision of the school is to develop socially responsible global citizens in a safe, creative and educationally challenging environment that encourages collaboration and the achievement of individual excellence through self-discovery.

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Mission of the School: We shall aim to raise a generation founded on life values of Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Citizenship. The students of our school shall compete only with their own abilities, striving to improve their own record. We shall strive to inculcate a passion for learning and a curiosity about the world, making our students learners for life. We shall fortify our students with the ability to discipline their own study experience. For our students, the frontiers of learning shall extend beyond books and into the enrichment provided by art, drama, music and sports. Every student of our school will be an asset to the community, applying his knowledge and thinking, to the betterment of it, through community service. Our ambition is to produce Global Citizens of the 21st Century by exposing them to world issues and perspectives.

Nahar International School is participating in ‘Educationista -Times Prestigious Schools Exhibitions’ at Bombay Exhibition Center (Goregaon) on 11th-12th November’17.

We look forward to see parents whose children look forward to going to school every day and being immersed in learning and in those things that most schools want them to learn.

To know more, Connect to us on call: 9820024991 Or visit: http://www.educationistaindia.com

Register Here: http://bit.do/FBReg

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International Schooling in India at Kodaikanal International School

Today, parents have a plethora of Educational Boards to choose from and enroll their children into. It is no longer just the SSC (Secondary School Certificate) or ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education).
logoIn order to be considered as an actual International school, it is widely agreed that a school generally follows a national or an international curriculum different from that of the host country. Additionally, an emphasis is placed on International Education (with such programs as the IB or Cambridge) and global citizenship.

The international school market has experienced explosive growth over the past 10 years with the number of international schools more than doubling across the globe. This past year alone, 345 new schools were added to the network of thousands of international schools worldwide. ISC Research, a UK-based organization dedicated to analyzing, researching and tracking developments in the international school market, calculates that there are currently over 2.8 million students enrolled in international schools around the world.

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Kodaikanal International School (KIS), an unique school with an extraordinary history and tradition spanning well over a hundred years! Their keen focus is on students, commitment to quality and dedication to continuous improvement empowering their students to handle whatever life may throw at them. Their greatest strength lies in their commitment to community – crafting together on a shared vision.

From the establishment in 1901 as an American residential school for the children of missionaries in South India, there were many milestones, including a number of ‘firsts’ – from when they became the first IB school, first International School in India (and the third in Asia) by adopting the International Baccalaureate Diploma program in 1976 among only nine other schools worldwide; to when they became the first school in India to have its own separate campus for camping and outdoor activities in 1994.

As their Principal, Corey Stixrud, once said: “Learning happens when we learn directly about a new culture…not from a textbook but from our roommate, or a new friend. Learning grows out of our successes and our failures. It happens when we study, work, talk, play, pray, share, reflect, argue…and when we make up. Granted, it doesn’t happen all the time, but a community that is imbued with the spirit of learning finds that learning is an ongoing continuous process.”

And this philosophy has paid off – their graduates, aside from growing into well-developed and well-adjusted world citizens, consistently achieve higher results than world averages in IB and SAT examinations – and 100% of KIS students who apply gain entry to colleges and universities worldwide. The KIS High School Diploma is US accredited and also allows KIS graduates direct entry to Indian universities.

Their Mission Statement: Kodaikanal International School is an autonomous residential school with a broad college-oriented curriculum, serving young people from a wide diversity of cultures. The School’s academic program is intentionally set within a community life based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and devoted to service in India and the whole human community.

Kodaikanal is one of the International Schools that are participating in Educationista – ‘Times Prestigious Schools Exhibition’ which is taking place across 8 states in 13 cities this year. Educationista Exhibitions is a sole platform for schools and parents to come together and understand schooling in a better way through educational seminars and queries that will be answered by topic Educationista from their field.

We look forward for parents to get educated on different aspects starting from the Boards to the new methodology, before they choose the right schools for their children.

Visit Kodaikanal School at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon on 11th-12th Nov 2017.

To know more, Connect with us at +91 9820024991 or visit http://educationistaindia.com/
Pre-register: http://bit.do/REG17

Fulfill your child’s Potentials at Pathways Schools!

Education in India is geared up towards imparting and testing knowledge at every level. “Give a person a fish and you feed him one day, teach him how to catch fishes and you feed him for a lifetime.” If you teach a student a skill, you enable him for a lifetime such are the thoughts of Pathway Schools.

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Pathways School provides an education that enables the students to fulfill their potential – be it social, intellectual, academic, sporting or cultural. They do so not only because these potentials, fully developed, are useful, economically marketable or aesthetically rewarding but because they also want every single student of their school to find something that they are good at.

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The extensive range of activities offered in the school enables all their students to find something that they can excel in. In this way they come to an appreciation of their worth as individuals and gain the self-esteem and self-confidence to which we aspire as the hallmark of our graduates.

They recognize that, in a rapidly changing world, few of their students will follow a single career for the whole of their adult lives. To cope with these career changes they will need flexibility of mind and the intellectual curiosity to continue learning well into adulthood.

They espouse a variety of teaching models in order to produce students who can think critically, synthesise and transform, experiment and create. In short, They aim to equip their students for the 21st Century. The school’s teaching methods are thus far removed from the didactic approaches traditional in many countries.

Pathways is much more than an orderly environment. The school’s disciplinary systems, from the day that students enter the school, aim to make them realise that they must all take the responsibility for their own actions. This realisation is fundamental to bringing their students to a preference for self-discipline over imposed discipline. In an increasingly dysfunctional world, they regard values such as responsibility, honesty, courage, loyalty, tolerance and respect for others as the building blocks of a stable society.

While Pathways draws much of its inspiration from international models, it also embraces the Indian perspective. They try to give their students not only an understanding of their own, or host country, but also a teaches them to value its people, cultural diversity and a willingness to do something for it.

They also seek to encourage amongst the students, an appreciation for India’s immense richness and variety of natural resources, as well as a commitment to their protection and preservation for future generations. Expeditions to more remote areas and community service programmes are intended to break down the isolation created by privilege, exposing their students to a reality outside their own experience, so that they may learn to cope with unexpected difficulties and mature in the process.

Respect for the environment grows out of respect for one’s own person. A comprehensive programme of talks and seminars on personal hygiene, sexuality, drugs and family relationships is held each year at appropriate levels in the school.

Vision: Pathways aims to build and nurture a community of thinking, compassionate world citizens, who are committed to living with responsibility, learning with enthusiasm and balancing a strong work ethos with a sense of play.

It is their mission to ensure that in a safe, tranquil, stimulating and intellectually challenging environment, all students shall have ample opportunity to:

Imbibe universal values;
Identify and fulfill academic, cultural, sporting and social potential through multiple paths to learning;
Acquire habits of curiosity, reflection, mental flexibility, independence and self-discipline;
Attain skills and attitudes for life in a rapidly changing world;
Develop a respect and concern towards the environment;
Maintain openness and respect in the face of racial, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.

Pathways Group of Schools are a part of “Educationista -Times Prestigious Schools Exhibition“. Parents, students and School authorities are most welcome to visit the Schools at Jaipur on 9th-10th December 2017 at Birla Auditorium and Ranchi on 16th-17th December at Hotel BNR Chanakya.

For more information, connect to us on 9820024991

The Bombay Cambridge Gurukul: A school that could be your Next Choice!

Choosing the right school for your child and your family can be a daunting task. When determining what educational community will be a good fit, ‘ Educationista’ encourages parents to understand the unique values, philosophies, and approaches that each school offers.
635443946933153522_Bombay Cambridge SchoolWhether your child is starting school for the very first time, “moving up,” switching schools within the same district, or moving to a new location, consider the following suggestions as you evaluate the options and familiarize yourself with each school.

Understanding the core set of values that shapes the school’s culture and informs decisions, policies, and programs can help parents determine how a school will align with their child and family.

The Bombay Cambridge Gurukul has always maintained an expert integration of Gurukul values with a Cambridge approach – a blend of culture and wisdom with future technology and science. In their quest to create world-class students, the schools offer the Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), affiliated with the Cambridge International Examinations, UK. They are a part of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s top universities, and trusted for excellence in education.

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The IGCSE qualification is recognized by the Council of Boards of School Education of India (COBSE) and is equivalent to any Std X Board examination in India. Cambridge qualifications are recognized and accepted by universities, educators, and employers across the globe. The IGCSE course is compatible with other curricula and is internationally relevant and sensitive to different needs and cultures. It prepares and equips students with the skills they need to succeed both at university and beyond.
The Cambridge approach supports schools to develop learners who are:

  • Confident
  • Responsible
  • Reflective
  • Innovative
  • Engaged

The curriculum is designed to challenge students, and get them excited about what they’re learning, ready to tackle the demands of tomorrow’s world, capable of shaping a better world for the future.
Universities from the world over value the independent research and critical thinking skills, as well as the deep subject knowledge that the CIE qualifications bring.

The schools also offer the State Secondary Certificate (SSC) course for its students. The course is as prescribed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for the Primary, and as per the Maharashtra State Board of Education for the Secondary section.
The school believes in stress-free education, and the systems are designed to help make learning a joyful experience for the child. The syllabus is delivered through qualified and experienced teachers, who use a variety of methods to make learning fun. The academic results of the school are a matter of pride and a testimony for the curricular planning of the educators.

Bombay Cambridge Gurukul is participating in ‘ Educationista – Times Prestigious School Exhibition’ at Bombay Exhibition Center on the 11th & 12th of November’17.
We welcome all the Parents, Children, Teachers and School Authorities to come be a part of the Educational Forum, where not only Schools but Board Authorities will talk on Education Systems, New Methodology and More.

The Cathedral Vidhya School, Lonavala at Times Prestigious Schools Exhibition

Educationista – An unique platform that connects schools with the parent community and guide/counsel the parents with detailed information on school education.

Educationista is committed to suggest parents with Quality Residential Schools that provide a school away from Home, nurturing children in their early days with values, culture and most importantly discipline.

Residential schools require students to take part in residential activities and live together throughout this journey. Even during a short period of time this can result in improvements in social abilities of each child that will be developed.

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It is Teamwork, that makes students understand their peers, ask questions to make sense of their own understanding, help others, be more accepting of each other, provide reasons for their ideas and share knowledge. These skills later used in the classroom environment can enable them to increasingly focus on their own learning and learn from their peers as well as teachers.

Therefore, Residential Schools tries to process the improvement of the them through teamwork and communication, that will also help contribute towards meeting the curriculum through providing skills valuable for experiences later in life.

Positive social relationships between peers is acknowledged to contribute towards children’s overall well-being and grounding for later in life which can off course aid their learning journey. Having a positive relationship with a teacher also provides increased motivation for pupils to learn.

A strong community spirit is vital for a harmonious environment not only in school, but can also develop behavioural improvements in children at home. This is a result of them finding security, stability and confidence within their school community.

Community spirit also evokes a sense of belonging to each one of us.

All residential schools have a positive impact on social development which contributes towards classroom success and learning opportunities.

Why Cathedral Vidya school?
logoThe Cathedral Vidya School – where world class education, sports and cultural activities together endeavor to create an environment, truly conducive to the development of young lives. An amalgamation of academic proficiency, professional sports, exposure to the world of music and dance and the sheer genius of arts and crafts, Cathedral Vidya School, Lonavala offers a platform where your child is carefully nurtured and mentored towards becoming a truly global citizen. As an institution of high repute, they share their concern and passion about giving your children the best possible education and guidance towards following their dreams of becoming successful individuals in their respective fields.

They offer a diverse range of academic, as well as non-academic options. After complete and thorough understanding of your child’s interest and excellence, they offer the best suited path for your child in the later years in school. The syllabus, sports, extra-curricular activities like music and arts have been given careful consideration and planning. Our teachers and mentors are selected after a stringent process to ensure that only the best facilitators play a part in the vocation of your child.

They compromise on nothing, when it comes to offering the best facilities and environment. From the airy and well equipped classrooms, to the comfortable and well-appointed suites for our boarding students, to the vast fields for sports like football and volleyball, to the double storied library for young minds, they have with deliberation and due diligence in setting up every little detail.

They literally bring the world to your children and prepare them for achieving the goals that they would reach out for, on stepping into the world. They take your children on the path of success and show them the way to reach their destination.

Cathedral Vidya school (Lonavala) is coming to Educationista ‘Times Prestigious Schools Admission Fair’ across 8 states and 13 exhibition all across India.

For more info:
Call +91 9820024991
Visit: http://bit.do/FBReg

School Systems Around The World!

Ever thought what school life in countries around the world is like? How do the disciplinarian Koreans teach their kids in difference to an individualist culture like, say, the Finns?  As an educator we aim of improving teacher – parent communication, it is kind of our task to do so. So, we put together a list of countries with some key informations:

It’s fair to say there are distinguished differences in academic systems around the world. Henceforth it is no surprise there is a massive gap in achievements of each system of education. A short analysis of each top-class program begins to reveal common threads that are shared between nations with regard to teaching advantage. Before we start to look at every single nation, it is important to know how the nations are ranked and what measures is used to draw conclusions about ranking.  One such organization that organises annual comparisons and completes analysis is the Centre on International Educational Benchmarking. The measures they use for determining academic standing includes student scores on the PISA assessment in Math, Reading and Science. Other aspects taken into account when determining rank include graduation rate, teacher training, funding spent per student, and continuing education past the compulsory mandates. Let’s explore some of the top performers to discover what they are doing right.

Singapore:

Top in the list is Singapore, for producing the most solid results on student valuations worldwide.  The development of the student is embedded in a teacher dominated classroom hierarchy where the curriculum is practiced and drilled toward the goal of producing high test scores. Grade levels and classes are connected for smooth and meaningful relaying of information.

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Here are some interesting facts about Singaporean education system:

  • Time spent in school each year is divided into two semesters (Jan-May & July-Nov).  The typical school day begins at 7:50 am and ends at 1:15pm. Schools run 171 days yearly.
  • Students are cheered to develop beyond the classroom during the break from formal education by taking trips and engaging in compulsory activities to expand knowledge and promote interests/talents.
  • According to Quora.com the average fee per student is $8,900/primary level and $11,900/secondary.
  • Young children are trained to read using the shared “Big Book” approach where the teacher guides the group through the use of oversized books and demonstrating.
  • Teachers make an average of $52,700 USD per annum.
  • Singapore also has religious schools, Madrasah’s, which offer mix programs of both secular and religious teaching. The religious classes are also taken to the national curriculum and students take the same national tests as their non-madrasah taught peers.

Hong Kong:

Hong Kong shows us a stiff philosophy behind the success of its educational system as well. They employ an “all business” attitude with strict observance to compliance and achievement. Hong Kong has long been criticized for failing to cheer creativity and the exchange of ideas in place of “teaching to the test”, where the outcome on the tests are more important than the actual development of the student through open ended learning.

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Some interesting facts about Hong Kong education system:

  • The typical school day in Hong Kong starts at 7:55 am and ends at 1:45 pm.  Many schools are forced into a half day program or two rounds per day due to the number of students. In schools where the students are only able to go half day, they must have to attend every other Saturday also.
  • Students must wear uniforms to school and teachers are strict disciplinarians.
  • There are 190 teaching days per academic year with a summer break running from the end of June to Sept 1.
  • There are 12 years on the educational ladder.
  • The average salaries of the teachers are $36,000-$84,000/annually depending on years teaching and level being taught.
  • The education system in Hong Kong is highly influenced by the British education system.

South Korea:

The South Korean education system has the same beat as its other Asian neighbours with a stiff performing school system. The powerful nature of the schools produces top students but within a framework of limited flexibility.  As the Korean Saying “Teachers are as high as God”. As the Korean saying goes, “teachers are as high as God”. Teachers rule the roost with a secure hand and are extremely respected in the Korean culture.  Families take great pride in education.  Education associates to high status in the South Korean culture.

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South Korean students compete during a Korea Olympiad in Informatics in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, July 17, 2009. 360 elementary, middle and high school students participated in this competition. The 12 winners will attend in the International Olympiad in Informaticsin 2010 in Canada. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korean education system:

  • The annual cost per student is $7,652.
  • The school year runs from March to February. Formal education for the day takes place between 8 am – 4 pm for younger students and 8 am to 9 pm for older students.
  • Most students stay later into the evening after the classroom lessons are finished to take part in additional activities. They even eat their dinner at school sometimes.
  • Along with their 13 hour school day, South Korean high schoolers also attend private, after school tuition, Hagwon to be precise. Students spend almost 16 hours a day learning, not to mention they also attend class on Saturdays!
  • One of the most important characteristics of the South Korean educational system is that teachers are necessary to rotate to a different school to teach every five years.  This is a compulsory practice.  Principals and Vice Principals are also required to move from school to school using a lottery system.
  • Students wear their “school slippers” when inside the building and are required to help clean the school and grounds.
  • The salary for a mid-career level teacher in South Korea is $52,600USD per annum.

Japan:

Japan falls in line with the other top performing Asian school systems as far as student achievement, but pays a more technology savvy based approach. Japan’s current education system has its origins in the American model of 6+3+3+4, with many more components are taken from Europe and appropriated the Japanese way. Students clean their study environment, including the toilets, from elementary school age. With pupils from years above usually taking charge of the juniors in groups, they learn help and support of the foundation of Japanese hierarchical culture. Punctuality is a big deal in Japan, as is in education. Teachers and parents are involved in constant contact and are updated daily, delay of even 5 minutes is not to be tolerated and mostly the school staff assume something had gone wrong, rather than snoozing. Parents are very involved in their child’s education and many volunteer for a variety of tasks from security to supervision or other curriculum activities.

Facts about Japanese Education System:

  • Japanese children must learn over 2,400 symbols in order to be able to read & write
  • Formal education for the day takes place from 8:30 am to 3 pm each day, with some additional attendance on alternating Saturdays.  After 3 pm, the students then attend extra- curricular activities for further self- development.
  • Cost per student in Japan is $9500 yearly.  Students attend year round with the months of August and January off.
  • Japan has an impressive 99% literacy rate nationwide.
  • The average teacher salary in Japan is $45,500USD/annually.
  • There are 1,338,854 teachers in Japan (2013, MEXT.go.jp)
  • The school year begins in April, ending in March the following year.
  • 6 years of preschool education is followed by 3 years of Junior High and High school, also often joint into 6 years. Education is compulsory until graduation from Junior High school. University programs generally last 4 years.

Finland:

Finland is where we begin to see a huge shift in educational philosophy. Finland is more interested in the development and respect of the individual student. Teachers downplay any practice of competition and cultivate an environment of creativity and self-expression. Test scores are not the end all and be all of student success. This style came about in the 1980’s, when Finland realised they had a serious problem with their education as their reducing industry dependent on forestry was started to cause economic problems. Finland’s education system began with elevating the status of teachers.

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In fact, Finland is introducing another education reform. By the year 2020, Finland will introduce “teach by topic” method, concentrating on specialised learning programs, along with traditional subject learning like maths and science.

Some facts about the education system in Finland:

  • In Finland, the school day starts at 9-9:45 am and runs until 2-2:45pm Monday-Friday.
  • Students mention to teachers by their first name.
  • By age 13, most Finns speak three or four foreign languages.
  • There are no school uniforms and no shoes for the most part. Only a ½ hour of homework is allocated each day. The atmosphere is relaxed and non-competitive.
  • Children keep the same teacher for 6 years in a row which boosts a solid relationship based on consistency where the teacher has an opportunity to learn and address the needs of each student.
  • Least class hours per week in the developed world.
  • Decentralised system means over 320 municipalities have control over the way they teach in schools, not the government at the top.

Switzerland:

Unique to the country of Switzerland is an educational system rooted in local autonomy. All decisions as to how the schools function within a specific canton (geographic area) rests with local government, much like their Finnish counterpart. The funding is also the requirement of local cantons and differs significantly from one area to another.

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Some interesting facts about educational system of Switzerland:

  • Typical cost per student is $15,500 (varies by canton)
  • There are 26 separate systems within the country.
  • Produced 113 Nobel Prize & 9 Nobel Peace Prize winners.
  • Teacher’s salary starts at a huge $98,000/yr. For a first year teacher. Teachers complete a 5 year program and are assessed on moral, psychological, intellectual, knowledge and professional qualities before securing a teaching position.
  • The basic school day runs for 2 ½ hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.  This schedule presents challenges for working parents, although mothers usually do not work outside the home once they are married with children.
  • After the compulsory 11 years of education, 2/3’s of the students select to attend a vocational program w/internship opportunity. This option has created a highly skilled workforce in the country.
  • Home to world famous scientific research institutions and laboratories like CERN, EMPA and Paul Scherrer Institute.

Netherlands

What country wouldn’t want to be able to boast they have the “happiest kids in the world”? According to the Dutch Review, happy children are a by-product of the relaxed culture and philosophy. Dutch children enjoy an educational experience that is not based in competition and demanding milestones or exams. Known within the Dutch culture is the importance of play in the development of the child. The Dutch system presents a great deal of choice with regard to the paths a student might choose to follow.

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Facts:

  • Average fee per student is $10,500.
  • Children attend Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 3pm with an hour break for lunch.
  • Government funded system that asks for parental helps when possible.
  • There is a great amount of versatility with regard to types of schools. The Netherlands has 2/3 more private schools than public schools and many are based on religious or specialized concepts. It is a parental decision as to which school a child will attend and often there are waiting lists for entrance to particular schools.
  • Children start their school experience at age 5 and must attend until age 16 on a full time basis. At age 16, they are then required to attend a minimum of 2 days a week until the age of 18 when they receive their diploma.
  • This relaxed system is totally different to the Asian models, although productivity and earning power of the country remains constantly high minus the stressful formative years in school.
  • An interesting fact to note is the creation of 22 “Steve Jobs Schools” in 2014.  These school are technology based and teachers act as coaches and guides for the students as they self-direct their own learning.
  • The average salary of a mid-career teacher is $61,100 annually in Holland. There is significant difference in salary throughout the country.

Canada:

Canada has a system that also provides for a great deal of teacher autonomy. Each state is responsible for the education of its youth and therefore, there is a lot of difference between provinces. The Canadian population has the highest percentage of citizens with a college degree, coming in at 51% holding a Bachelor of Science or higher.

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Some interesting facts:

  • Children starts schooling at age of 5 and attend until they are 18 years old, although they may lawfully quit at age 16.
  • The school year is 190 days long with a Monday-Friday schedule. The day begins at 8:30 am and runs until 2:30/3:30 depending on age level. There is no instruction on Saturdays or Sundays and children are cheered to participate in extra-curricular activities. Children are given no or very little homework up until the age of 10.
  • Cost per student average $11,800 yearly is funded on the local level, not by the federal government. Decisions about everything relating to the schools including hiring practices, curriculum, safety etc. Is determined by the superintendent and a school board for a particular province.
  • Home prices are said by the geographic proximity to “good” schools. Basically, schools that have a good reputation and are highly sought after, create an environment where the homes nearby raise higher values.
  • Teachers hold a minimum of a BS degree although some provinces require a Master’s level certificate. Parents are highly encouraged to become involved in the classroom in the capacity of “teacher assistants”.
  • Pupils are tested at the end of grade 8 for relative intelligence and then guided towards a proper path.
  • Average teacher salary of all provinces is $49,400 annually with Alberta offering the highest wages at $58,500 per year for a new teacher.

Teachers are the strong basis upon which everything else rests. Teachers are extremely respected and lead youth through their formative years toward meaningful goals.

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Is boarding school a good idea?

It is a very old question, maybe a dilemma, of whether to admit a child into boarding school or not.
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Helps develop confidence

Experienced ‘boarders’ are divided on the issue, though not equally. A majority have reflected on boarding life during their younger days as one of the reasons for their successes in life – organisational skill at their workstations, independent decision-making capability, and the ability to work with others, leadership personality and so on.

Can be traumatising, if bullied

But the smaller voices cannot be ignored. Boarding life can be traumatising, depending on the environment. After the lights are turned off, stories abound of ghosts and ghouls tracing paths across the corridor. Also, the Stories about EERR sound in the middle of the night. Dangerous pranks one may call these but for some it can leave behind fears that may last a lifetime. However, the real trouble is when older students gang up and turn bullies. Weaker ones or loners are the usual targets, they are asked to do every day jobs and stand on their heads, sometimes literally, to please the rivals. To some ex- ‘boarding-schoolers’ such treatment, they say, gave them confidence to face up to anything as they grew into adults. Oddly, some parents insist that their children go through the same ‘hard’ experiences that they did, bullying and all and hence opt for boarding school.

Why boarding school?

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While the jury may be out on the benefits and the demerits of boarding school, one must first question the need for boarding school. Why must a child be put in boarding school? Or, why does a situation arise for boarding school? For a start, parents must give consideration to the quality of education that they are getting presently and weigh it against a potential school elsewhere, where it is perceived or established that the standard of education is higher. Elsewhere, can be anywhere in the world, as is the case with students travelling overseas for college education.

But in the case of a school, where the age of the child is such that she or he is highly impressionable and vulnerable, it is important to assess the schooling and residential environment earlier. More importantly, the child must develop a comfort level with the school before any decision is made.

The closer home, the better

Most boarding schools restrict parents from visiting the students often, but it is a good idea to allow parents to meet the child as often as they wish to, without venturing to take the child out of campus. This way, the routine or discipline is unaffected and at the same time, the child is not left feeling distressed or emotionally low on account of the disturbance of moving out of the comforts of home and into a boarding school knowing that parents are close at hand.

So this brings into perspective, how far really must your boarding school of choice be from your hometown? Experts believe that an overnight journey is the longest you should take to get to your child’s school. International Community School, Governing Council member and experienced counsellor, Edwin David believes, ‘the very fact that your parents can get here the next morning, is reassuring.’ He adds, ‘In a medical emergency too, the presence of parents sooner than later, can be the turning point.’

A balanced scorecard

Should a boarding school get rated only on the quality of education (widely understood as expertise in academics) or should it be measured on a balanced scorecard? Academics Advisor at ICS and expert educator, Cynthia Mulley states, ‘A range of developmental activities is a must. The school must possess adequate play and recreational area and agenda. ‘The after-school hours activity must more than match what one may get as a day-scholar? ‘In those households, where the mother is a homemaker, the after-school daily routine for the child is pretty much in place – wash and change, a snack, games in the neighbourhood park, a hot bath, some reading exercises, dinner, a bit of homework and revision, a glass of milk and then to bed! Boarding school must provide the very routine that homes with both parents working, cannot afford to carry out.’

Television takes over until one or both parents return… Boarding school fills this gap with a daily routine that keeps the child occupied, mentally and physically. ‘The child must be tired, but highly enriched when she or he climbs into bed, each night. It is up to us to make sure they have a full day,’ concludes Ms Mulley.

Health and hygiene

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The importance of health and hygiene cannot be ignored. ‘High sanitary standards are topmost,’ says Dr Gita Jayaram, ICS Governing Council member and family health expert. ‘Good habits like washing hands before a meal, after games and after classes is a must. Especially, a germ has a way of travelling unseen and suddenly into the mouth or nose.’ Parents must look at the drinking water source and even the cutlery provided by the school. A visit to the school kitchen may also not be out of place,’ she shares.

Interview the dormitory-in-charge

You must get a comfortable feeling about the dorm parent. Is this the person going to meet your child’s expectations, emotionally? A child develops a lifetime bond or lifelong aversion as the case may be, to the dorm parent/matron. ‘When choosing a boarding school,’ says Mr David, ‘it is important to pay particular attention to the personality of the individual that is entrusted with the care of your child. Communication skill must be of highest standards. If the dorm parent is trained in child psychology, then you are in for a long term and mutually positive association. She or he must also be a disciplinarian – no question of bullying or intimidation or rules-breaking on her watch. So it will take a kindly disposition but a firm attitude to make a good matron or dorm-in-charge. Identify this fine combination in the individual.’

A progressive boarding school is careful about who they hire for this vital position!

Of course, the smaller the school, the better. Small schools be liable to personalize their efforts much more effectively than larger boarding schools can. The more homely the boarding atmosphere, the greater the chances of your child faring well during this critical journey of early education.

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