If you are an expat parent of a teenager in Singapore, chances are, you have thought about which educational program is ideal for your child. Although high school programs in the mainstream school system will seem like the more popular option, it is actually the programs of International Baccalaureate Singapore-based expat families are looking at with increasing interest. Apart from its good track record for university acceptance and success, the International Baccalaureate continuum of programs—particularly the(IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) for high school-aged students—is known for its holistic and globally inclusive approach to learning.
But aside from its evident international caliber, the IB Diploma Programme fits well with Singapore’s reputation for high educational standards, too. In fact, the 2,156 students who took the IB diploma examinations last year outshone their competitors with an average score of 40.6—higher than the 32.37 global average. Singapore IB students also had a 99.15 percent passing rate and accounted for 133 of the 238 perfect scorers.
If you have a child in high school and want to help set them up for a bright future, here are some of the reasons why enrolling them in the IB DP might be the right decision.
Its Strong International Reputation Gives Students an Edge
At the end of the two-year IB Diploma Programme, students receive an internationally recognized diploma that will likely boost their chances of acceptance into most global higher education institutions (HEIs). According to a recent UK study, IB diploma holders were “significantly more likely” to attend one of the country’s top 20 HEIs, graduate with honors, and pursue further studies after graduation compared to students with an A-Level qualification. The study also found that most of the IB students enrolled at UK HEIs were not domiciled in the UK while their A-Level counterparts were mostly UK-based.
If pursuing higher education outside of Singapore is a priority for you or your child, you should consider taking advantage of the IB DP curriculum’s adequate preparation for university life—and the world beyond it.
It Offers a Holistic and Rigorous Curriculum
The IB DP consists of core subject groups and specialized courses that students may choose based on their skills and interests. Topics covered by the IB DP curriculum include modern languages, mathematics, experimental science, computer science, social science, and humanities. They also include extracurricular activities such as community service.
The IB Diploma Program’s broad coverage allows students to gain more valuable insights into their chosen field as well as the subject areas outside of it. But most importantly, the program urges students to go beyond simply memorizing facts and focus more on analysis and critical thinking.
It Instills Independence and Other Valuable Skills for Lifelong Learning
Independence is another quality that students develop by enrolling in the IB DP. The program enables students to have more control over their education by allowing them to pick courses related to their interests. This motivates students to succeed in their schoolwork and to manage their own time at their own pace. The student-centric nature of the IB DP promotes self-initiated inquiry into real-world issues, participation in community projects, and the development of independent research projects.
The IB program is also structured around skills that are valuable in a 21st-century landscape. For one, the program encourages students to be inquisitive while being knowledgeable and reflective. It also aims to mold thinkers and risk-takers who know how to communicate effectively with others. But aside from developing students’ personal aptitude, the program also seeks to produce lifelong learners that are open-minded, principled, balanced, and caring towards themselves and others.
If you believe that your child has these inherent qualities, you may want to enroll them in an IB program where they can hone their skills further and shine even brighter.
It Encourages Cultural Awareness and a Global Outlook
One of the trademarks of the IB DP is its focus on widening perspectives in the context of a larger community. The program’s curriculum involves active class participation, group discussions, and exchanges of personal views. Subjects are taught in a way that students understand their relevance and impact on a global scale. The IB curriculum also covers learning a second language, sometimes through bilingual programs.
By shaping their emotional, social, and intellectual skills in line with an international mindset, an IB education prepares your child to interact with people of all cultures and backgrounds. Students enrolled in an IB program are given the opportunity to develop a broader outlook, molding them into global citizens who know how to treat others with open-mindedness and respect.
Having this exposure to different cultures can also benefit “third culture” students or children who are raised in cultures different from that of their parents’ countries of origin. Giving these children sufficient preparation may help prevent “culture shock” and lessen the difficulties that come with integrating into other countries.
World-Class Education for Shaping World Citizens
Beyond being just an alternative to other common high school programs, the IB DP is a learning experience with rewards that go farther than just HEI acceptance. If you are looking for a program that will be instrumental in helping your child make significant strides in their professional life, personal development, and interaction with the world at large, maybe it’s time to give the IB program a try.