Schools in India

A strong emphasis on education has been the driving force behind India’s flourishing economy. However, the standards at Indian public schools often fail to meet international standards. Even in private schools, the teaching methods may not be suitable for expat children. International schools that follow either the curriculum of the expat’s home country or a globally-recognised qualification such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) tend to be the preferred option for most expat families moving to India.
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Indian families hold academic accomplishments in high regard and push their children to excel at school. Those who can afford to avoid the public schooling system in India often prefer the higher standard of education at private schools.

Public schools in India suffer as a result of administrative issues and underfunding. Class sizes exceed international norms and facilities are mediocre at best. Public schools tend to emphasise rote learning and strongly focus on academics, leaving little scope for creativity and extra-curricular activities.

While some public schools in India teach in English, this is generally not the case outside the major cities. This creates a language barrier that expat students struggle to overcome.

For these reasons, public schools in India are often not a viable option for expats.

While Indian private schools have an excellent reputation, they too emphasise results and rote learning, which isn’t always suitable for expat students.

Private schools are a popular option among middle-class Indian families. Local students are highly competitive and experience a lot of pressure from their families as well as society in general. Many expat students will be unaccustomed to this culture and may find this type of learning environment frustrating.

That said, private schools are a good option for expats who plan on settling down in India in the long term. It’s also a good choice for those who want their children to have a more integrated learning experience, mixing with local children.

There is a wide range of international schools in India, with most being found in the major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru.

These institutions are the ideal option for most expats as they allow children to continue studying a familiar curriculum from their home country. They also tend to teach in either English or the language of the school’s origin, which makes learning easier for expat students.

The standard of teaching at international schools is excellent, class sizes are small, and facilities are of a high standard. These institutions also offer their students a wider range of extra-curricular activities.

American and British international schools are well represented throughout India. There are also a smaller number teaching the German, French, Japanese and Russian curricula.

The major downside of attending an international school in India is the cost. Tuition fees at international schools in India are high, so expats considering this option should try to negotiate a sizeable schooling allowance into their relocation package. It’s also worth noting that the best international schools tend to be oversubscribed, so expats should begin the application as far in advance as possible for the best chance of securing a spot.