International Baccalaureate® (IB) and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) are the two International school education programs. IGCSE is also an examination conducting body. The IGCSE is controlled by a department of the University of Cambridge and IB is an education foundation with headquarters in Geneva.
International Baccalaureate® is an International education foundation which runs four educational programmes namely Primary Year Programme (PYP), Middle Year Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-Related Programme (CRP). IGCSE is administered by a separate department at the University of Cambridge, UK.
IB prescribes an educational framework whereas Cambridge provides a designed curriculum. IB does not conduct assessment exams but provides certifications to the grades acquired by students studying the curriculum in a school which reach a certain standard.
The IGCSE, also known as Cambridge board is basically a class X level certificate exam after which the students can opt for A and AS level exams, Cambridge Pre U exams which have class XII equivalency. IGCSE students can also make a transition to IB Diploma Programme for class XI and XII. The choice, therefore, is between Cambridge A, AS level or IB Diploma Programme.
IB programme has to be implemented by school administrators and teachers well oriented in the IB framework with excellent comprehension of demands of a curriculum centered on targeted skills in every subject.
Cambridge provides curricular guidelines whereas IB gives the schools running its programme the liberty to design and enforce a curriculum. The curriculum designed by the schools must be attuned to the criteria including scientific knowledge, communication, scientific inquiry, scientific attitudes etc. of assessment prescribed by the IB.
IGCSE has a diverse International curriculum, international in orientation but adapted to national context offering around 70 subjects to be followed by Cambridge International schools. IGCSE keeps assessment as a pivotal factor in its programme.
We have provided condensed information about the advantages and limitations of both the IGCSE and IB. These are based on the observations after the study of the programme structure as well as the school’s experience
Both of the international educational programmes (IB and IGCSE) are especially beneficial for the emerging global needs and are capable of developing the skill set in students which are internationally comparable and equipped for higher studies and research work. They can complement the Indian education systems making it complete, given the human resources are available and school promoters turn out to be as progressive as both of these systems of pedagogy demand them to be.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.