Some Shang­hai high schools to in­tro­duce in­ter­na­tional cur­ricu­lum

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai wanghongyi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Stu­dents at one of Shang­hai’s high schools where an in­ter­na­tional cur­ricu­lum will start on a trial ba­sis.

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