The International Baccalaureate has always been an attractive option for families, especially expatriates. But in recent years its popularity has grown considerably. Indeed, in Dubai alone, the number of IB schools grew by 54% between 2017 to 2022 (34% worldwide). This data reflects a real demand for the programme. Here are a few reasons for the increase in demand.
The IB program continues to be respected and recognised worldwide making it the ideal option for students who wish to study or work abroad. Plus, the IB’s focus on language acquisition and retention makes IB student competitive candidates for the overseas job market. Indeed, university and college admissions have often been vocal about their favorable view of IB students as the program is considered rigorous and comprehensive.
The IB moves away from the traditional rigorous curriculum that certain programs focus on and offers a more holistic approach to education. The IB teaches essential skills like critical thinking, research skills, and cultural awareness and sensitivity which benefit the students academically but are not traditionally taught. Our students are also taught social responsibility through their CAS project for example. This aligns perfectly with the growing societal emphasis on civic engagement and social awareness.
The IB encourages children to approach new subjects differently. Indeed, the program encourages children to think critically about topics, ask questions, and not just accept all information at face value. This fosters a deeper understanding of topics and a unique learning skill that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
The IB program is unique in that students are given the option to obtain a bilingual diploma. Many of our students here at SISD choose to obtain their bilingual diploma in English and French or English and German. This multilingualism promotes intercultural understanding and goes hand in hand with the IB’s aim of creating global citizens.
Focus on creativity, innovation and technology
The IB aims to foster students’ creativity even right from the start in Early Years with the introduction of play based learning. At SISD, creativity and innovation is made possible with our fully equipped drama rooms, design and technology labs, state of the art science classes, dance studios… The program, and SISD, both align with the demands of a rapidly changing global economy that values creativity, problem-solving skills and familiarity with technology.
We live in a world today where less tangible soft skills like communication, empathy, approachability and open-mindedness are valued. Traditionally, these skills were deemed to be innate; you were either born with them or you weren’t. We now know that these skills can be fostered and taught from a young age and the IB has perfected that. The IB creates well-rounded, critically-thinking global citizens who are set up for success in whatever path their choose after graduation. And this is something we, at SISD, take great pride in.