There are plenty of schools for expat parents to choose from in Bengaluru but, as is usually the case, finding the right fit depends on the family's priorities and preferences.
Location is usually a big priority. It's important to find a school close to home or work because transport congestion often makes commute times across Bengaluru painfully long. As learning environments are becoming increasingly dynamic, many schools offer distance learning and parents opt for homeschooling and tutoring alternatives.
Public schools in Bengaluru
There are some adequate public schools in Bengaluru, but many don't have basic facilities such as computer labs or sports fields. As a result, expats usually send their children to private or international schools, but these are considerably more expensive.
That said, many private and international schools may follow and incorporate India's national curriculum into their teaching environments. The Indian curriculum helps students prepare for tertiary education and could be helpful to consider. Several school boards set the curriculum, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). Exams are sat in Grades 10 and 12, while vocational learning certificates are also available.
Private schools in Bengaluru
Residents of Bengaluru value education, and those who can afford it invest large sums of money to send their children to a private school. These schools are generally better equipped in terms of facilities and teaching capabilities. However, the pressure for students to perform academically is often high and many students, especially those who have been previously educated in the West, might not adapt very well to local learning methods.
On the other hand, for families staying in India for the long haul, private schools can be a good way for an expat child to experience and become integrated into the local culture.
International schools in Bengaluru
The major benefit of sending an expat child to an international school in Bengaluru is that this enables them to continue studying a curriculum from their home country. These schools tend to be less academically pressured than Indian private schools and enable children to pursue their skills in other areas such as art, music and sport.
The standard of teaching is generally excellent and class sizes are small. Expat parents should note that places are often limited and waiting lists can be long, especially at the more popular schools. So it's best to start applications as early as possible. While admission requirements do vary, tests and interviews are common.
Nurseries in Bengaluru
Bengaluru offers numerous playgroups, daycares and nurseries. Many kindergartens in the city are affiliated with EuroKids, a chain of preschools and playschools in India, and some are attached to international schools.
Given the wealth of options for nurseries in Bengaluru, location will be a major determining factor. We recommend searching for a preschool in an area or suburb near an expat's home or workplace, as traffic around the city can be disruptive.
Homeschooling in Bengaluru
Despite vague laws surrounding homeschooling in India, Bengaluru's homeschooling community has grown over the years. Foreign families on short stays in the city may opt to homeschool their children, as may expats and long-term residents. Given the high costs of international schools and low quality in the public school system, homeschooling has become an increasingly preferred alternative. We suggest searching for online resources and support through Swashikshan Indian Association of Homeschoolers website and social media pages.
Special-needs education in Bengaluru
Bengaluru offers both specific centres dedicated to persons with disabilities and inclusive schools offering integrated classroom environments. Governmental special-needs education policies are often unclear, and it follows that both public and private schools do not always meet desired inclusivity standards.
That said, parents of children with disabilities will likely find an international school in Bengaluru that provides a certain level of support. As this varies widely, we suggest exploring each potential school's website and contacting them directly. Some schools that claim to be inclusive may simply admit students with disabilities to their classrooms, but not go much further. Reasons for this include a lack of qualified professional support and holistic understanding of what is needed.
More inclusive international schools offer assistance to students with a range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioural difficulties, with services including specialised or assistant educators, counsellors and extra tuition.
Tutors in Bengaluru
It is easy to find a tutor in Bengaluru for expat children and adults alike. Online platforms, such as BharatTutors, TeacherOn and FabTutor, are a great way to search for tutors by focusing the search to Bengaluru. Increasing numbers of organisations and companies, such as Vedantu, are offering free access to interactive live online classes, and are popular learning resources.