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International Baccalaureate

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The first IB member schools were predominantly private international schools and included only a very small number of private national institutions or state schools. As the years progressed, more and more schools have been authorized to offer one or more of the IB programs and currently, over half of all IB World Schools are state schools (IBO.org, 2010). IB-trained teachers currently work with 2,823 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programs to over 778,000 students across all programs (IBO.org, 2010).The phenomenal and rapid growth of IB schools worldwide stems from its idealistic mission to make students aware, accept, respect and celebrate cultures other than their own. This is highly significant in a globalized world. Its mission is eloquently worded as thus:“The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.To this end, the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right” (IBO, 2006)Such a program not only fosters international understanding and appreciation of a variety of cultures but also encourages students to ask challenging questions, learn how to learn, develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture and develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures (Cech, 2008). IB begins the broad-based learning process early, with the Primary year’s program placing subjects in six contexts such as “Sharing the planet”, “Who we are”and “how the world works”.