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Education is obviously a priority for parents moving to Mumbai with their children. However, expats may find that the number of schools in Mumbai is not in proportion to the burgeoning population and waiting lists are long, with challenging admissions processes.
Most expats in Mumbai opt to send their children to private or international schools, which offer an excellent standard of education, but depending on the family's circumstances, distance learning and homeschooling may be more feasible.
Public schools in Mumbai
Most Mumbai public schools teach in English, but given the generally low quality of learning facilities at state schools, local and expat families who can afford it opt for private schooling. That said, the national curriculum is said to be relatively strong and both private and international schools often implement and integrate it as part of their academic curriculum. Exam boards including the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations set exams, which are generally taken in grades 10 and 12.
Private schools in Mumbai
Private schools in Mumbai could be an economical choice for those expats wanting a better standard of education at an affordable price. They're ideal for families who will stay in India for the long haul and they provide better opportunities for integration with the local population and culture. Parents should note that teaching styles may not suit all children and some schools have a strong focus on rote learning. We suggest reviewing all the schooling options before making a firm decision.
International schools in Mumbai
Most expats prefer to send their children to international schools in Mumbai. These include institutions that follow a home-country teaching curriculum and language, and also those that offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. International schools are a great option for expat parents who are working abroad only for a short period and would like their child to have as little trouble as possible acclimatising to their new environment.
Expats should note that international schools are notorious for their high fees. Many parents working in Mumbai are lucky enough to receive education allowances from their employer to help foot the bill. If this is not the case, be mindful when negotiating a salary that a large chunk will need to go toward tuition.
Nurseries in Mumbai
Expats in Mumbai will have a wide selection of preschools and nurseries to choose from. Many kindergartens follow the Montessori philosophy or are attached to a larger international school. Families with children can find a selection of daycares and nurseries that are easily accessible from main roads, and we suggest focusing the search to the area or suburb close to the expat’s home.
Homeschooling in Mumbai
Laws about homeschooling in India are unclear, but this schooling alternative is becoming increasingly popular in Mumbai. While numbers are comparatively small, some expat and local parents are opting to homeschool their children and educate them outside of a typical classroom environment. Various international schools also offer distance learning.
Parents have a wealth of information at their fingertips from online resources around the world and can reach out to the homeschooling community in Mumbai through social media for further guidance as well as making friends and connections with families in similar situations.
Special needs education in Mumbai
Like elsewhere around the country, special needs education has not been placed at the forefront of policy changes or schools development in Mumbai. Even some elite schools have received a bad reputation for failing to provide a truly inclusive environment for differently-abled students.
However, some schools go the extra mile to provide in-class support to students with disabilities. Private and international schools often have counsellors and specialised educators assisting inside and outside of the classroom. An expat’s best bet is to explore the international schools in the city and the varying level of services available. We recommend contacting the school directly and meeting with the school for a sit-down session.
Tutors in Mumbai
Finding a tutor in Mumbai will not prove too difficult. Expat parents can simply search for tutors through online platforms such as BharatTutors, TeacherOn and FabTutor. Narrowing the search down to Mumbai, expats can find tuition options for online or in-person classes.
►For a list of expat-friendly schools in the city, see International Schools in Mumbai
Are you an expat living in Mumbai?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Mumbai. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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