History & Structure of International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate(IB), previously known as International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is a progressive non-profit educational organisation which was founded in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland with an aim to instil children with necessary skills to learn, live and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The organization works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.




The development of its first programme, IB Diploma Programme was influenced by the teachings of noted educationalists like A.S Neil, John Dewey, Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner with an objective of providing internationally acceptable university admission qualification suitable for growing mobile young population whose parents were part of international or diplomatic organisations by offering standardised courses and assessments for students aged between 16 to 19 years.


IB (www.ibo.org) quickly grew to prominence throughout Europe, with the first official Diploma Programme exams taken by students in 1970 and having spread to North America by 1975, the IB continued its rapid expansion, opening regional offices in Buenos Aires, London and Singapore shortly after in 1982. By 1994, the IB had expanded enough to introduce its Middle Years Programme for students between the age of 11 and 16, adding the Primary Years Programme which hosts children from age 3 to 11 just three years later in 1997. In 2012 the Career-related Programme for students between the ages 16 to 19 was introduced.

Parents who are part of companies where they have to travel to different countries generally prefer to put their wards in IB curriculum as it is easy to migrate from one school to other. This course has been recognized worldwide over 150 countries and by most of the reputed universities. Also this curriculum is more practical and application based and has a broader spectrum of subjects that leads to all-round development. This is another reason that parents look for while selecting IB curriculum as their preference.



IB is a legal entity under Swiss law which acts as a non-profit organisation, selling its products and services to schools in a system very similar to a franchise system. Schools in various countries buy services and products from the IB-publications, assessments, the right to use its brand and in turn they act as its distributors, making the IB services available to parents in different countries.


The organisation is divided into three regional centres: IB Americas (IBA), administered from Bethesda; IB Africa, Europe and Middle East (IBAEM), administered from The Hague; and IB Asia-Pacific (IBAP), administered from Singapore. IB also has a consultative status as a NGO at UNESCO and has collaborative relationships with the Council of Europe and OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie).




1. IB Primary Years Programme (For age 3 to 12): While the programme prepares students for IB Middle Years Programme, it is not a prerequisite for it. The main subject areas of the PYP are language, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, arts, social and physical education. Students are required to learn a second language too during the programme.

Although there is no official EYP (Early Years Programme) set by IB curriculum, but many schools do offer EYP as a part of Primary Years Programme for students who are in the age group of 3 to 6 to better cater to the needs of small children.


2. IB Middle Years Programme (For age 11 to 16): In the MYP, students are required to receive instruction in eight subject groups which are Language Acquisition, Language and Literature, Physical and Health Education, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts, and Design.


3. IB Diploma Programme (For age 16 to 19): The aim of the DP is to equip students with all the necessary skills and qualities to study at the world’s top universities and fulfil all their personal and academic potential. The DP curriculum comprises of: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) activities, An extended essay of about 4,000 words, A critical thinking course entitled Theory of Knowledge (ToK), Studying six courses from six subject areas: three at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL)


4. IB Career Related Programme : The CP programme leads to further/higher education, apprenticeships or employment. CP students have to undertake a minimum of two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses, a core consisting of four components and a career-related study.



Current Statistics

Currently IB operates its curriculum in 151 countries in over 4,460 schools. In India, there are over 125 schools who offer IB curriculum to their students although career related programme is yet to be introduced in any Indian IB school. With increasing impact of globalisation and the basic nature of IB to keep enriching its curriculum with more developing skills and strata, IB curriculum is expected to gain more popularity in coming times.


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