According to a publication in the Independent news, a growing number of students are dropping the A-Level for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Why are they doing that? Because IBDP is now regarded as the surest way for students to get admission into top universities and colleges all over the world.
If you are a parent who has a child in secondary school and considering whether or not your child should do IBDP, this post is for you. Here you will read a brief overview of the programme and some of IB Diploma benefits.
To take a fair position, this post will also cover one major thing that some parents consider as the disadvantage of the programme.
Brief Information about the IB Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma Programme is a sixth form programme administered by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). It is meant for students between the ages of 16 and 19 who are looking at gaining admission into tertiary institutions.
Students who are admitted into IBDP are required to use two years, and upon successful completion of the programme, they are awarded a diploma certificate that is very useful for universities and colleges application. During the programme, students take courses and must pass exams in six specific subject areas.
For a student to be admitted into IBDP in Nigeria, he or she must have a minimum of 5 credits in IGCSE or WASSCE, including Mathematics and English Language. On completing the programme, the student can easily get admission to universities in Nigeria or abroad.
The website of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) provides full information about the programme.
A Disadvantage of the IB Diploma Programme?
The fact that the IB Diploma Programme is for two years is its major disadvantage. Some parents in Nigeria believe this is a waste of time. So, instead of spending two years in IB, they prefer that their children enrol for JAMB immediately after secondary school.
There is nothing wrong with this. However, if you want your child to be well-prepared for life in the tertiary institution and if you want your child to easily get admission into top universities and colleges in the UK, US, and Canada, the IB Diploma is the surest way.
Here are more benefits of the programme.
IB Diploma Benefits: 5 Reasons Your Child Should Do IB Diploma
#1. Its curriculum is robust
IBDP offers a wide range of subjects that help students to learn about various aspects of the world. Students learn to focus on their areas of weakness, but at the same time do subjects that interest them.
Aside from the main subjects, students take part in the three core elements of the IB Diploma curriculum. These elements are Theory of knowledge (TOK), which helps students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how they know what they claim to know; The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper; and Creativity, activity, service (CAS), which is a community service project.
By going through the IBDP subjects and its core elements, your child would be equipped with the skills needed to exceed in the tertiary institution.
#2. It is reputable and well-respected
Due to its high-quality coursework, extracurricular activities and the special training required by IB teachers, the programme enjoys a good reputation globally. All over the world, the programme is well-respected for the positive impacts it has on students.
By this, when your child uses his or her IB Diploma certificate to apply to universities and colleges, he or she will command lots of respect for efforts devoted to earning the diploma.
Moreover, university and college admission officers understand the rigour and work put up to get the diploma. Therefore, they believe the successful completion of the IBDP demonstrates the academic prowess of the student.
Another reason why admission officers love the IB Programme is that it makes student evaluation easier for them. Top colleges and universities all over the world look out for students’ academic performance, and to do this, they rely on GPA, transcript and class rank.
However, since secondary and high schools use different grading systems, it becomes very complicated for them to compare applicants’ results and determine which students are the most qualified.
But one of IB Diploma benefits to them and the students is that since the program uses a single curriculum worldwide, it is easier for the admission officers to precisely assess the performance of students. And once a student performs excellently in the programme, the officers are confident that the student can cope with the rigour and challenges of the tertiary institution.
#3. It makes students stand out
They are only a few certified IB Diploma schools in the world. This is because it is a long procedure for a school to be certified, leading to many schools not offering the programme.
The result of this is that the majority of college and university applicants go with other self-studied programmes. So, as a parent, one of the benefits of IB Diploma to your child is that the programme would allow him or her to be among the selected few with this sought-after qualification.
One other way that the programme can make your child stand out is through the academic research that he or she must do before the award of the diploma. This research is likened to a mini university undergraduate project.
If your child’s IB Diploma research is captivating, it would help to give him or her a sort of recognition when his or her application is being reviewed by the admission officers.
#4. It offers special opportunities
Who doesn’t want his or her child to win a scholarship? So, out of all IB Diploma benefits discussed in this post, this is the most important.
Many colleges and universities across the world usually give out scholarships to students who perform exceptionally in the IB Diploma Programme. For example, a set of our IB Diploma students recently got scholarships worth over $1 million from top universities and colleges in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
Beyond scholarship, some universities and colleges also accept IB Diploma students into their second year. Therefore, their undergraduate education will be three years, instead of four years. The rationale behind this decision by such universities and colleges is that the IB Diploma had already helped groomed the students for life in the tertiary institution. And as such, there is no need asking them to take the first year again.
#5. It helps students acquire essential life skills
If you look at it closely, you would notice that the first-four IB Diploma benefits discussed above are about getting admission into universities and colleges. Anyways, the IB Diploma Programme isn’t just about academics alone.
The programme has been proven to help students acquire essential life skills, such as discipline, confidence, self-motivation, time management, communication, critical and analytical thinking, among others. These skills are valuable while in school and after graduation in the job market.
Without a doubt, IB Diploma benefits far outweigh its so-called disadvantage of having to spend two years in the programme. At the end of the day, the knowledge and skills acquired in the programme will not only help your child succeed in the tertiary institution but also to succeed in the ever-challenging corporate world.