Is Quality Education in an International School a Leap of Faith?
One of the quickest and easiest methods a parent can adopt in assessing potential international schools is to look for any type of externally awarded accreditation or quality assurance.
Accreditation is essentially about standards and approval of a school’s programmes and their implementation. Internationally, there are numerous bodies awarding kite marks to schools after varying degrees of inspection. Within Malaysia you can commonly see accreditation from the Council of International Schools (CIS), in the form of a British Schools Overseas (BSO) kite mark or an International Schools Quality Mark (ISQM) to name but a few.
It has to be noted, however, that for many teachers
Whatever stance you opt to take however, it cannot be denied that an international organisation has come in and assessed the school in question against their benchmarks. For a parent, that should provide some reassurance that the school, at the very least, is adhering to established benchmarks.
Mr. Rajan Kaloo, the Director of Services at elc International School, suggests “parents need to spend time in the school of choice, watching the students interact with teachers and their peers. Get a feel for the way they behave and talk – this will give a sense of the school as a whole. Regardless of what may appear to be state-of-the -art facilities, ask whether there is an ambiance for learning.
Admissions and websites are designed to sell, so trust what you see with your own eyes and your own instincts”
We need to remember that gone are the days when a school’s raison d’être was only to produce knowledgeable students. It was once believed that social skills and mental health were a given, and students were sufficiently active physically. Life skills were exactly that, skills that one picked up in life and teachers did not need to actively impart life skills.
We are guiding Generation Z – the first generation born into the age of social media. They do not know life before social media and consequently now live a life
know it. There is a great desire among them for independence while all too often, the reality is of grudging dependence. Mental health issues have become the new norm due to the existence and pressures of social media.
Self-esteem is at an all-time low and social skills are disappearing.
It is necessary for teachers now to develop student life skills. Students need to have high self-esteem and resilience to survive in today’s environment.
Ultimately there is no sure-fire way of assessing if a school is right for your children and there are no shortcuts. A good place to start may be to ensure the school is accredited, as it indicates that the school has undergone a rigorous programme of self and peer review. Given today’s student and the problems they typically face,
it is also important to look at what the school is doing to develop a student’s emotional resilience.
There is a great desire among them for independence while all too often