When is a School an International School?

 In Press

With the increasing thirst for admission to the world’s top universities among many Africans and the resulting slow, sometimes discouraging, reactions from the destination countries to applications from Africa; prospective students and their parents are regularly in search of a university preparatory programme that adequately prepares students to meet the international standards required by these top universities.

It is this need that has led to the establishment of many schools with the identifier “international” as part of their names. Ordinarily, there is no harm in doing so if truly the curriculums on offer at such schools reflect international education. In most cases, the identifier “international” was added for the impressive and competitive edge it gives such schools in comparison with others. To the unsuspecting public, a school that adds “international” to its name is the school of choice for international education.

Not much can be contested about the fact that an international school means quite different things to different people or school of thought. To some, it is a school that is in partnership with a foreign university. Some see it as any school that offers the curriculum of another country. It is even common to witness scenarios where the use of a foreign language as the language of instruction qualifies a school for the title of an international school. While these interpretations might not be totally wrong; an international school is one that has truly internationalized the curriculum it offers. The internationalized curriculum covers international themes, topics, and perspectives that go beyond a strictly national education. Therefore, the question as to what an international school is needs an honest answer to help parents make informed decisions about school section.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) defines international education as one that develops citizens of the world in accordance to culture, language, and social cohesion. It goes further to describe it as that holistic education that fully equips learners with their sense of identity and cultural background while encouraging global thinking when responding to local situations. It is the type of education that prepares students to become successful in any multicultural setting.

A key promoter of international education, UNESCO, describes it as the education that brings out the best human qualities. These qualities perfectly combined strong intellectual abilities, uprightness, physical well-being, open-mindedness, compassion and intercultural awareness. It is an education that trains the whole-person.

Among all the available providers of international education, the International Baccalaureate (IB) stands out for its depth and breadth of coverage. Its Diploma Programme is acclaimed to be one of the world’s best preparatory programmes to top universities such as Harvard (USA), the London School of Economics (UK), McGill (Canada) and many other universities give priority to its graduates, compared to applicants holding other diplomas such as the French Baccalaureate, West African Examinations Council, or National Diplomas such as the ones from Cameroon or Chad.

With Enko Education, a pan-African network of international schools, parents can be rest assured of a university preparatory programme that is truly international and facilitates the admission offers by the world’s top universities for their children.

Enko Education does this by offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Also, Enko Education has put in place necessary structure that will guarantee the quality delivery of the curriculum. This structure includes the training and certification of all our teachers by the IB, ICT integrated lessons, small class size arrangement, highly experienced leadership team, effective university admission counseling unit, abundant opportunities for community service, a well-structured English language development class, and all at a very affordable cost.

For more information, call +237 698 156 176/653 235 652 or visit www.enkoeducation.com/lagaiete
Bamidele A. Akinbo, an International Baccalaureate Educator, is the Head of School of Enko Education, Yaounde, Cameroon.

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