If you look at the trend in schools these days, there is a lot of focus on being able to equip students to study at university and work abroad. For instance, a Singapore international school like the Global Indian International School is offering, not just the Cambridge International Examinations, but also an International Baccalaureate program for secondary school students.
What is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?
The International Baccalaureate Degree Program (IBDP) was established by the International Baccalaureate Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968. Its mission is to help local schools provide the education needed to help students pass international academic standards.
It is more than just rigorous academic study. This program aims to develop the student’s international understanding and inculcate values that will make them responsible social movers of the society like showing respect for all cultures.
The IBDP is a two-year, pre-university curriculum for students who have completed their O-levels or any level equivalent to it. Subjects covered include English Language, Foreign Language, History, Science, IB Elective/Arts and Mathematics, and Computer Science.
More than 130 schools and around 500,000 students are taking the IBDP around the world. The question remains, should you consider it too?
Benefits of taking the International Baccalaureate Degree Program
The obvious benefit is leading universities around the world will recognize your IB degree. This is an instant advantage especially when you are already choosing which university you want to go to.
In terms of where you can study, you should know that the IBDP is more recognized in the US. In the UK, however, they might focus on your Cambridge GCSEs more.
Preparation for university
After taking the IBDP, your first real year at university will most likely take little to no adjustment. Firstly, the core subjects you will be taking in the program are general subjects that you will have taken at university. You will have been more advanced in your class than those who did not take the two-year program.
Second, it will help set you up for the rigor of studying at university. Managing your time to finish your reports, papers, and projects while studying for examinations will not be much of a problem.
Wide breadth of subjects
While the core subjects are taken by all, students have the option to take subjects of courses they are interested in, especially if they are going to take it in university. This includes psychology, philosophy, international politics, computer science, and film.
One of the main missions of the program is to produce students who are socially conscious and responsible. This is why the subjects available for students to take are wide in range and extensive. But more than that, the subjects are guided by the following:
- Theory of Knowledge (ToK) – explores different ways of learning
- xtended Essay – encourages independent research
- Creativity, Action, and Service – embodies the mission of IBDP of nurturing students who will be well-rounded citizens in society
So the short answer is, yes, you should consider taking an IB degree program. Not just to get an advantage in the world stage, but to develop an appreciation for culture and the sense that there is still room to innovate to make life better.