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International Education Program Aims for Worldly Students

I’m Shep O'Neal with the VOA Special English Education Report.

Young people in more than one hundred countries can attend schools that offer International Baccalaureate programs.

The International Baccalaureate Organization in Switzerland was started in nineteen sixty-eight. It says the goal is to "create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect." The non-profit organization says about two hundred thousand students are in I.B. programs.

The first is the primary years program. This is for children ages three to twelve. They begin to learn about the ideas of people in other parts of the world.

The middle years program is for students between the ages of eleven and sixteen. They study languages, mathematics and science as well as arts, technology and physical education. This program is designed to help students make connections between the different areas of study. They are also urged to take part in local activities so they can be good citizens.

The diploma program is for sixteen to eighteen year olds. It is two years of study to prepare for college or university. They study languages, a social science, an experimental science, mathematics and the arts.

They must pass six examinations to complete the program. Students who pass receive a special International Baccalaureate certificate. It is accepted by universities around the world. I.B. students also satisfy the requirements of their local and national educational systems. The International Baccalaureate Organization says about thirty universities offer financial aid to graduates of its programs.

More than one thousand five hundred schools offer I.B. programs. The number continues to grow. Last month, a school in Croatia began to offer the middle years program. And a school in the Philippines started to teach the diploma program.

Other nations that offer I.B. programs include Bangladesh, Britain, China, India, Indonesia, Mozambique, Vietnam and Spain. In the United States, there are more than four hundred I.B. diploma programs. Also, there are forty-nine middle school programs and thirty primary school programs.

More details about I.B. programs can be found on the Internet at And our weekly reports can be found at

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. I’m Shep O'Neal.