I am fast discovering that this is an inexhaustible topic!
I want to mention a couple of things as I continue writing about schools in Bangalore.
Firstly, I understand that most international schools follow US teaching methods (low student/teacher ratio, time for extra-curricular activities (music lessons, for example), and that the management works with each family with full awareness of a student's educational background. The expat community naturally gravitates towards these schools. I don't have personal experience with those schools, but I do know that most are expensive by Indian standards. For an expat, if school expenses are included in the compensation package, this may not be an issue.
Secondly, I grew up in the school system here and as I've heard time and again, especially from Indians who have gone on to study in the US and from American students and faculty, the Indian school system provides a strong foundation in the basics. Multiplication tables may be learnt by rote, but Indian kids are taught their tables by the time they finish elementary school and that is a key factor in many Indian kids doing well in math. The principal at my son's school says to me that when some of her students go back to the US after finishing kindergarten at her school, they've been able to do second-grade level work straight away.
That's all fine, but it's no use if my son hates going to school in the first place. Before we came here, he used to hate weekends because there was no school on weekends. Now, it's the other way around.
I also write about this with the understanding that, parents being parents, no school system is perfect for their children. There are problems with schools in a lot of other countries as well, even in the US. One only needs to look at the newspapers on a daily basis for an inexhaustible list of problems plaguing our school systems in the US. There was a recent, horrific story in the Washington Post about the goings-on on school buses, including first-graders being bullied into blowing condoms, elementary school girls being prodded and poked by the boys on the bus and so on.
No matter where you live, the only way to deal with problems is to be aware of them in the first place. By recounting my experiences here, whether with schools, housing, or the other aspects of Bangalore life, I do hope to make you aware.
And I do not mean to suggest that these are insurmountable problems. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, schools do need to understand that you are watching.