English is the common language of instruction in most schools in Bangalore and the level of education in India is generally very high. In fact, some expat parents find the focus on academics in Indian schools too rigorous, with extreme emphasis on grades, memorisation and learning in order to pass board exams.
Schools named ‘public schools’ are actually private schools while public schools in Bangalore are government-run, often in Kannada and class sizes are typically large and impersonal. Most families, both expat and Indian, generally prefer to send their children to a private school (whether Indian, alternative or international) if they can afford it. The quality of education and facilities tends to be better, instruction is in English and it is likely more streamlined to your child’s education in your home country too.
Most Indian schools follow the ICSE (Indian School Certificate Examinations) or the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) curriculum; two boards recognised by the Government of India. For a thorough understanding of the difference between the two boards, you can refer to this blog on the Indian Educational system: http://www.shemford.com/blog/cbse-or-icse-what-suits-your-child/
There are also some alternative Indian schools, popular with some expats, such as the Valley School or Centre for Learning, which follow the philosophy of Krishnamurti (similar to the Steiner method).
Several international schools have come about to cater to the large expat community in Bangalore. Most international schools follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and offer world-class state-of-the art facilities, with other expat and Indian children from well-to-do families.
Expats coming to Bangalore generally opt for an international school for their children. Securing a place at these schools can be difficult, with demand sometimes outstripping supply, so priority should be given to reserving a place at the school, as quickly as possible – ideally even before you move to Bangalore. Some schools may conduct interviews and an entrance exam that your child will need to pass as an eligibility criterion.
For an idea of the Indian school system from an expat point of view, check out Blogpourri: http://blogpourri.blogspot.com/2005/07/life-in-bangalore-schools_27.html
For other news on Bangalore schools and tips for helping your kids adjust, be sure to follow: http://blog.bangaloreschools.net/category/bangalore-schools/