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Happening IBCP: The need for tomorrow

EducationWorld February 2024 | Spotlight Feature
Pratima SinhaPratima Sinha, CEO, DSR Educational Society Hyderabad

The right kind of education should be able to create thinking individuals, provide self-awareness/self-knowledge, to discover lasting values and give a platform to be able to stand independently with confidence.

Today the greatest need of every student is to have an all rounded ,integrated and comprehensive understanding of the future requirement in terms of choosing the right career path. This will also help an them take conscious decisions to face well the complexities of job demands of  the future. Most of the time due to craving for permanency and working within the comfort zone , parents advice their children to opt for tried and tested jobs rather than giving them an option or exposure or opportunities to look for careers that interest  and brings out the passion in the them , where they can outshine others and give their best. Having said that it, I feel strongly that it is a major responsibility of the school to first understand individual students inclinations, potentials , passion and guide them in the right directions, parallelly council the parents show them  the career options, the growth pattern and convince them to support the child.

Keeping the future career growth modalities in mind our School Birla Open Minds International School Hyderabad initiated the IBCP( International Baccalaureate Certificate Programme ) in 2023 .This programme is intended  to develop the career opportunities for the students along with their Senior Secondary preparation for further studies. The broad, balanced and well-integrated conceptual learning helps the students to organize their career plans in a relevant manner and integrate the learning to the applicable subjects .

The CP of IB is very clear and well defined that includes three components :

  • Diploma Programme courses, equips the students with the theoretical underpinning of the programme. The academic rigour expected by IB makes the students develop keen interest and curiosity towards the concept learnt.
  • CP core aims to develop personal qualities and skills of an individual  along with the professional attributes required for lifelong learning. The four components of the CP Core are very relevant to its aim.
  1. Personal and Professional skills
  2. Language Development
  3. Service Learning
  4. Reflective Project

The best part of CP Core is the inclusion of study of an additional language as part of the core subjects to the international dimension . While learning a different language, the students become aware of the similarities and differences, between their own cultures and culture(s) of the country of which the language learnt. They can reflect on cultural values and develop an intercultural understanding.

  • The Approaches to Teaching (ATT) in IB bring together the pedagogical principles that influence and underpin IB programmes and their associated teaching strategies in the teaching learning sessions.
  • Based on inquiry
  • Focused on conceptual understanding
  • Developed in global and local contexts
  • Focused on effective collaboration and group work
  • Differentiated to meet the needs of all learners
  • Informed by assessment, both formative and summative

Challenges to make IBCP happen in the School:

As we are passionate about offering the right blend of practical knowledge and experience, designing a truly futuristic curriculum aimed at making our students as highly skilled individuals and a launch pad for entrepreneurs. Our core team of progressive leaders along with the experienced faculty has been striving to lead towards growth, excellence and success of IBCP .

The first-year experience of running the IBCP program has been quite stimulating. First challenge was convincing  and counselling the parents to make them understand the need of IBCP and how it has amalgamation of IBDP subjects along with curriculum related to development of skills , attitude and of course career related subject . Secondly to start with the base of the curriculum a bridge course was initiated  aimed at addressing research and reflection skills. Policies were shared with both parents and students, specifically focusing on Academic Honesty and Assessment , with detailed discussions to ensure an understanding of the IB philosophy. We facilitated sessions on academic honesty, covering the evaluation of resources, citation and referencing, explaining what is considered plagiarism. This process did take time as it was important because students came from various backgrounds. Various workshops were organized and conducted by IBCP Knowledge Partner WACP ( World Academy of Career Programmes) for the Heads , Coordinators , Subject Faculty Members to facilitate better understanding of the programme .

As the curriculum and learning progressed , flipped learning was encouraged , inviting student presentations on CP core components, including Service Learning, Reflective Project, Language Development, and Personal and Professional Skills were the highlights of achieving learning objective . Gradually DP subject orientations, CRS master classes, workshops, and industry engagement requirements were looked into and carefully planned .

One Activity Initiated:

It is amazing to see the learning growth graph of the students with just one activity Giving an example :  As part of the CRS the students  have initiated an IBCP Challengers Cup to raise funds to conduct a health camp at a the local Blind school. Exposure to this particular activity gave the students an opportunity to practice reflective learning and visualize the connections between the Core, CRS, and DP subjects. They were able to successfully  establish connections with Service learning, identifying their own strengths and areas of growth and recognizing the benefits of working collaboratively in the process. In connection with personal and professional skills aiming at personal development, honing self-management and relationship management skills was much highlighted . As well as application of  critical thinking skills, engaging in practical problem-solving and adapting while considering ethical principles in their involvement with the charitable plan was considerably noticeable . With regards to Career-related studies, specifically in Business Administration, students have achieved success in connecting with potential donors and customers for the funds and sponsorship . In the context of Career-related studies in Artificial Intelligence, students have planned to incorporate text-to-speech functionality into the Devnar School for the Blind website—a practical application of their learning. Furthermore, they have developed and demonstrated key Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills. These include collaboration, effective communication, self-management, and time management. Additionally, cultivated critical, creative, and transferable thinking skills to enhance overall competence.

To sum up with one organised activity the student developed in a truly holistic manner .The master classes of CRS courses have helped students connect with industry experts and understand their perspectives. Students have started with their industry engagements and internships in both Business Administration and Artificial Intelligence. Students have been working on their portfolios as per the internal timelines.  Exposing the students to the  Industry Internships in the relevant domains of their study gave them professional skill development opportunity and helped them develop a perspective of real life. They employed simple yet effective strategies to demonstrate the interconnection of communication and marketing with contributions .To connect with the Additional  Language relevant bulletins have been created as part of the Language development course.

 This is what I would call as a wholesome learning experience.  The ripple effects of learning engagement have been seen and witnessed very clearly .   The learning experiences act as cognitive activators to realize real-life applications along with the skill set required to solve day-to-day problems, both personally and professionally.

WACP has been a great support and guide for the career related subjects and has been providing wonderful opportunities for great learning experiences for our students as well as the faculty .

I feel in the coming years IBCP is going to be a sought after Programme as it is curated very thoughtfully to suit the future requirements of the learner and I am happy that we have started this programme in our school now, as I can see an affirmative and tremendous growth in the students.

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