Some Shanghai high schools to introduce international curriculum
Shanghai will implement an international curriculum on a trial basis at some high schools in the city’s latest effort to further education reform and improve the quality of education.
A total of 21 high schools — 11 public and 10 private — will participate in the trial program, according to the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission. The schools will offer 18 levels of international courses, such as A-level (General Certificate of Education Advanced Level), AP (Advanced Placement) and IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program).
“In recent years, there has been a growing demand from parents and students for more high-level international curriculum. Through the introduction of the international curriculum, the schools provide students with a new option which combines Chinese and international education,” said Yang Weiren, an official from the international exchange and cooperation department at the commission.
“This can not only help diversify the school syllabus meeting the various needs of students, but also help improve the city’s education level,” Yang said.
The schools were selected through strict requirements to guarantee the education quality and will start admissions this year, the commission said.
Students need to take a preadmission exam held by a listed school before they start the international curriculum. They also need to participate in the city’s entrance exam for high schools.
The curriculum design, education plan and textbooks in these trial schools will be screened by education authorities. Subjects such as Chinese, politics, history and geography will still be mandatory for students who enroll in the international curriculum, said Ni Minjing, a commission official.
Shanghai YK Pao School is among the high schools in the program. The school recently announced it will open its senior secondary division this September which will offer this international curriculum: IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) at the Year 10 level (twoyear program commenced in Year 9), and the IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) at the Year 11 and 12 levels.
Upon graduation, students will receive the international high school program certificate from Shanghai education authorities and the IB diploma.
“We will bring together the best educational practices from China and abroad. Our school’s foreign teaching staff comes from native English-speaking countries, all with internationally-recognized teaching certification and an average of 12 years’ teaching experience,” said Philip Sohmen, founder of the school.
The school was started in 2007 with donations from the family of former Hong Kong shipping magnate Yue-kong Pao. Running on a not-forprofit basis, the school invested all its income into self-development. From 10 to 20 percent of the students receive scholarships and financial aid.
With the opening
of the senior secondary division, English will become the predominant language of instruction, with foreign teachers accounting for 80 percent of the teaching staff.
“A diverse, multi-cultural environment that not only provides a rich foundation in Chinese language and culture, but also one in which students are exposed to a wide range of cultures, giving them a global outlook and perspective,” said Sohmen.
Students at one of Shanghai’s high schools where an international curriculum will start on a trial basis.