Most expats, particularly those staying short term, prefer to have their children attend one of the international schools in Delhi, as the curricula and environments in these schools are more familiar to foreign students. There are plenty of these options on offer, along with a healthy selection of private schools that use English as a teaching language.
Delhi schools are known to be some of the best in the country, so expats may find that the more popular institutions are flooded with applicants, and admission is difficult.
Parents should consider the proximity of the school to the home and workplace when making their choice. Getting around in Delhi can take time due to traffic congestion. Thankfully, several private and international schools offer bus services for daily transport. Still, it's best to try and select a school close to home or focus the search for accommodation in areas close to preferred schools.
Although public schools in the city are better than in other areas around India, they are not often considered by expats nor Indian families who can afford private education. As well as exploring private and international schooling options, expat parents may consider homeschooling and extra tutoring sessions.
Private schools in Delhi
Delhi is one of India's most prominent education hubs, and its private schools have a track record of producing great talent. One key advantage of private schools in Delhi is that the language of instruction is primarily English.
Integrating expat students into Indian private schools can be a good opportunity for children to learn about the culture, languages and people of Delhi. The Indian curriculum is relatively strong and is assessed by varying exam boards, mainly the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations.
The disadvantages of Indian private schools are the limited number of available seats and the tedious admission process. For most parents, trying to get accepted into a prominent Indian school is a huge struggle as, typically, there will be far more applicants than available seats. Expat parents should also be aware that courses can be rigorous in Indian schools, and expat students are sometimes not as accustomed to dealing with the pressure to succeed.
International schools in Delhi
One of the most pronounced advantages of international schools in Delhi is that they maintain an expat's respective home country's teaching language and curriculum. This provides students who are geographically mobile with more continuity in their studies.
The range in tuition for international schools in Delhi varies widely, so it is best to visit the individual school websites for this information. Fees can be high, so expat parents lured abroad by an attractive employment package should try and negotiate an education allowance in their contract.
Seats are limited in most international schools, so it is best to start the admission process as soon as possible.
Nurseries in Delhi
Expat families with young children in Delhi will come across a wide selection of nurseries and daycare centres. This includes kindergartens that are a part of a larger international school and various other private nurseries, such as the EuroKids chains of preschools.
Most kindergartens are found in areas and suburbs just outside of the city centre, and we recommend that expats consider location as well as fees when choosing a nursery for their children.
Homeschooling in Delhi
Typical school environments are not always the best fit for every child, nor are the exorbitant fees for every parent's budget. Expat parents may very well be curious about homeschooling their children in Delhi. Laws on homeschooling in India are not explicitly clear, but there are nonetheless parents who pursue this avenue.
Using forums and groups on social media is the best way for parents to connect with the homeschooling community in Delhi. Homeschooling is not easy and there are pros and cons to it, but through conversations and connections with other families, parents can learn from each other, select an appropriate curriculum and create a healthy and happy learning environment for their children.
Special-needs education in Delhi
In theory, both government and local authorities in India should promote inclusive education across all schools, including providing access to specialised facilities and individualised support. In reality, expat parents will probably find that private and international schools in the NCR offer the highest quality and widest scope of support for children with disabilities.
Delhi schools have varying policies and processes on inclusivity and special-needs education. Some may offer holistic services including counselling, specialised educators, assistant teachers, extra time and in-class support, and assistive technology. Others may be limited in their scope of cover for students with different physical, mental, emotional and behavioural difficulties. We recommend looking through the selection of private and international schools, exploring their websites and contacting them directly.
Tutors in Delhi
Many children in Delhi receive extra tuition or classes, along with their typical school or homeschool environment. Tutoring can provide great support close to exam time but can easily be found and contacted via online platforms, such as BharatTutors, TeacherOn and FabTutor.
►Read up on our expert's tips on how to choose the right international school for your child in India
"Even though I didn’t move to Delhi with kids, I can give my thoughts on this one because I spent some time at Shaheed Rajpal DAV Public School working with the school’s basketball team (as a coach). The Indian education system is stricter and more rigid to what we’re used to in the West. There’s very little room for improvisation when it comes to teaching, and the competition between the students is encouraged by the teachers from the earliest stages of education," says Daniel Kiteski, a Macedonian expat living in Delhi. Check out the rest of his interview with Expat Arrivals.
Are you an expat living in Delhi?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Delhi. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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