School education today is one of the primary concerns, especially in the socio-political milieu of India. In the rapidly urbanising and developing state that Haryana is at present, this question of school education has become a rigorous challenge, as the competition for admission to the best schools has reached almost epic proportions. Following an international curriculum such as the Edexcel, Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate or any national curriculum different from the standard models followed in India, the huge number of international schools in Haryana has given a new dimension to the basic educational scopes in Haryana.
While this is a welcoming change in the face of the acute crisis that parents face every year regarding school admissions, let us seriously introspect are these schools really international?
International schools in Haryana, by their very nomenclature, must provide global standards of teaching, class-room exposure, student-teacher interaction, impressive infrastructure and all other basic premises of excellent education. Most importantly, international schools must be accessible to the different strata of society, because each child should be exposed to the highly esteemed standards of school life that these international schools promise to deliver. But are international schools within the reach of the lower middle-class and poorer sections of the society? The rocketing fees structure of these international schools often limit the access to the urban elite and upper-middle class families in Haryana. In Haryana, this divide along unequal accessibility is prominent as the state presents a vast and varied cross-section of population, either from the industrial belt of the cities and towns or the agrarian sector in the rural regions or the middle class which is scattered in all parts of Haryana. Again, these international schools are specifically built mostly in the urban spaces of Haryana, because they primarily cater to the urban population. The rural counterpart, in this process, is often neglected in being exposed to the kind of education that these schools impart.
A more pressing concern in this regard is in the very quality of education that international schools in Haryana provide. While the premier ones in this list, which number a handful, indeed abide by the world-class teaching and curriculum standards, most of these schools do not maintain a standardised order of teaching. As a result, the best faculties, worthy of an international status, are often not recruited to these schools. Therefore, parents in most cases are not satisfied even though they have enrolled their wards to these so-called international schools. While the infrastructure in most of these schools is overwhelming, the standard of teaching often equals that imparted by local schools. Faculty recruitment is compromised and some of the best teachers who would provide dynamic education are not employed.
Haryana presents a bright future, so far as employment generation is concerned. If quality education of a global order can be imparted to the children in the state, then their futures in the state itself will be secured, and they will not have to migrate to other states in India or in countries abroad to bag good job opportunities. To ensure this, supreme quality of school education should be given to these children, and international schools must be true to their names. In Naya Haryana, each school will be international in appeal, reaching out to the maximum number of students across all strata of society.