Shanti Krishnamurthy, Director of Academics and Administration of Chinmaya International Residential School, Coimbatore, shares the school’s USP with Careers360…

Q. How is IB education changing India’s education system?

A. The IB education system came into India at the time when our educationists realized the hollowness of the existing marks based system of education. That is when people across the country realized the damage that how we have lost the glorious inquiry-based system of education. People got excited about the IB system and started to lean towards it. The then chairman of CBSE Ashok Ganguly did mention in one of the forums, in the late nineties, he has introduced higher order thinking questions into our system after researching on the IB curriculum. The genesis of CCE is indeed an impact of the IB education.

Flexibility in choosing subjects

Q. If a child takes part in extracurricular activities regularly, how do you balance the same with academic performance?

A. It is a misnomer that academic performance gets affected because of extracurricular activities. They, in fact, complement each other. Boarding schools have an advantage in that. Students get to participate in sports, art and music activities regularly. Quizzing, creative writing are all important activities students are engaged in. The secret behind all these is that the students are not wasting their time going on Facebook or using mobile phones or playing video games. Here they use their time productively, and who says students today lack concentration? We have students engrossed in painting, drawing, photography and other such activities during their free time and at the same time handling academics also very well.

Q. Choice of subjects defines the students’ further studies. How does your school guide them?

A. Career counselling desk in our school plays a vital role in guiding students to the right choice of subjects. Students get clarity not only on subjects but also on the choice of universities. We do have a full-time guidance counsellor in the campus. She organises to get a good number of universities to visit the school. Students are well informed and they do have clarity where they want to go and what subjects they want to take. Our alumni also play an important role in guiding their juniors. The application process is handled by the students themselves.

Q. How does your school use technology to impart education?

A. We do not have prescribed books for teaching IB. Hence, a lot of reference materials are used by students using the Internet. Technology plays a vital role in IB education. But yes, all students sign an agreement with the school and assure us that they use technology appropriately. No misuse is permitted.

Q. How do you foster curiosity and critical thinking in a child?

A. The flexibility in the choice of subjects is indeed a great advantage in the system. We offer so many choices or combinations of subjects and even if two or three students want to take a particular subject we allow the students to study the subject. That ensures personal attention from the teacher. The International Baccalaureate programme at our school is customised according to the needs of the students. There is always  excellent rapport between the students and the teachers and we are able to foster curiosity and critical thinking without much of a challenge.

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