Making a Choice Between International Baccalaureate and A-levels

Making a Choice Between International Baccalaureate and A-levels

Choosing the right education system for your child may be a little overwhelming. Before making a choice, it is essential to understand the differences and significance of both education systems. International Baccalaureate (IB) has a comprehensive approach to the wholesome development of a child. Your child will be exposed to a system where his or her curiosity will be given a chance to grow. IB encourages children to ask questions in a bid to understand their environment. Children also get to study several subjects, depending on their age and program. The A-level is more focused on the subjects and exams. Your child’s academic capability will determine if he or she will be an Arts or Science student.

If you are looking for an International High School Singapore to enroll your child for the IB program into, check out GESS Singapore’s website here today.

In this article, Nalika Unantenne discusses the merits of IB and A-levels, and what these education systems mean to your child.

The relationship between International Baccalaureate and A-levels Scores

“The international A-levels has been considered by many experts in the field of education to be the “gold standard” of examinations for a very long time…until now. A recent story in reports that the credibility of A-levels is under scrutiny after it was observed that the International Baccalaureate (IB) qualification is possibly academically superior, making it the new gold standard…” read more here

Universities such as Oxford and Cambridge seek to maintain their high standards when admitting students. Institutions of Higher learning consider both IB and A-levels. Whichever system your child opts for, he or she will have a fair shot at getting admission to any of the institutions of higher learning. The maximum score an IB student can get is 45 points. A student who has a score of 38 is equal to an A-level student who has five A grades.

In this article, Tracy Tristram discusses the impact International Baccalaureate has on students.

Benefits of International Baccalaureate to students

“We’ll be honest, all the acronyms and information surrounding the different curriculums at schools in Singapore does baffle us. Which is why we’ve made it our mission to decipher one of the most popular programmes of all: International Baccalaureate, otherwise known as IB. We’ve been taking a look, with some advice from some of the international schools in the IB-know, at unravelling….” read more here

The IB system is designed to make a child understand themselves and the world around them. From the age of three years, students are encouraged to ask questions. Who are they? What are their expectations in life? How does the world work? How do they express themselves? The education system is not just about meeting the academic needs of the children, but to guide them into being wholesome individuals ready to conquer any challenges they encounter in life. Teaching them who they are enables children to grow into confident adults who communicate with anyone comfortably since they have a clear understanding of their personality.

In this article, Sassy Mama explains the IB curriculum and its benefits.



The features that make International Baccalaureate unique

 “We hear you mama: with so many education philosophies and curricula out there, it’s hard to keep them all straight. One that seems to dominate on the international school scene (with good reason!), is the International Baccalaureate. We get down to the real nitty gritty to let you know what sets IB apart, its unique features, and whether it is a good fit for your child. Let’s break it down!” read more here

The IB system is preparing students for the global market. It is essential for students to learn and appreciate life beyond the boundaries of their nation. The IB system has high academic standards that mean more to students than passing exams. Students are not just taught to respond to the curriculum based on the expected answers, but they are encouraged to analyze their thoughts. This is a skill that will serve as a guide as the child grows. IB also encourages learning of a foreign language to better prepare students as global citizens.

Choosing an education system that is suitable for a child is not an easy thing for parents. Both the IB and the A-level systems are critical for students. It is essential for parents to understand their children’s strengths and weaknesses. Each system could play a crucial role in building a child. If a child needs support to discover who they are to be more confident and well-rounded adults, the IB system has the right set up to serve as a guide.

After Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Last Decapeptyl Shot or Fertility Treatment Right Away?

One week after my Laparoscopy, we paid our ob-gyne / fertility specialist (Dr. S) a visit last October 11, 2012.

She told us that even though she had successfully removed the chocolate cyst (endometrioma) from my left ovary and scraped some blood clots surrounding it, that didn’t mean that I’m already free from endometriosis. It can recur at any time, especially when my period starts again (my Decapeptyl shots before the procedure stopped my periods for months).

Yes, surgery (i.e. laparoscopy)  is just a way of managing endometriosis. Apparently, no treatment could permanently get rid of it.

She discussed my possible options:

1. Finish the course of Decapeptyl shots
– If I would be able to finish my course of Decapeptyl (one shot remaining), there would be a good chance that my endometriosis wouldn’t recur soon. If I’m going to take my last shot, my periods and ovulation would stop again for two to four months. In short, no chance of getting pregnant within that period.

2. Start with the fertility treatment right away
– According to her, this is possible. But the downside is –  there would be a big chance that my endometriosis would recur soon.

Honestly, I was a little disappointed. Before entering the clinic, I was looking forward to receive new set of prescriptions for my fertility treatment, not for my endometriosis. In the end, my husband and I finally decided to choose the first option – finish my Decapeptyl course.

For the record – I never enjoyed the side effects of Decapeptyl. Aside from stopping my menstrual periods and ovulation, this drug also leads to weight gain and decreases libido.

I just focused myself on the bright side of this option: Taking this drug will only be equivalent to 2-4 months of suffering. But if I wouldn’t take this shot and my endometriosis would recur again, that would possibly be equivalent to years or even a lifetime of suffering from not having a child.

Five months had passed. My period started again during our last day of vacation in Coron, Palawan (March 21, 2013). We paid Dr. S a visit the next day.

My Laparoscopy Procedure for My Severe Endometriosis

To finally remove the large chocolate cyst growing in my left ovary, I was scheduled to have my Laparoscopy last October 4, 2012. The days leading up to my surgery were very stressful. I had to lose weight, a lot of weight, in less than 30 days. From 145 lbs, I managed to lose 29 lbs before the surgery.

Two days before the surgery were the most painful of all. I was told to be in a “liquid diet” – only soups, fruit juices, water, etc. One day before the surgery, I had to take Dulcolax so I could poop before the surgery and Evening Primrose Oil (as vaginal suppository) to “soften” my cervix and prepare it for the operation.

The “Laparoscopy Day”

Everything went smoothly as planned. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything so we went straight to the hospital to prepare myself early for the laparoscopy. 2 kinds of Enema and a skin test were done before lunch time. At exactly 1:00 pm, they finally took me to the operating room. I was very nervous. I was begging everyone to help save my left ovary. After a few minutes, a nurse came to me and injected something in my IV. That was my last memory.
I woke up while they’re taking me to another room. I was very dizzy, maybe because of the anesthesia. I felt my wounds and stitches, and they were like burning my skin inside and out. There was also an odd pain in my throat that I couldn’t speak clearly. That was when I realized that the laparoscopy was done.
I immediately looked for my sister (since she’s also a doctor and a former classmate of the owner of the hospital, she was able to assist me inside the operating room). I asked her about my left ovary. It was saved! Although the cyst was already in its “critical size”, they were able to remove it without removing my left ovary as well. The procedure took 5 to 6 hours.
I was discharged the next day. Dr. S positively told me that we can start “trying” again after two to three weeks. I was also instructed to visit her again after seven days so she can check the stitches.
Despite the fact that I couldn’t move because of my fresh wounds, I was very happy. I already started imagining myself pregnant. What clothes should I wear? When should I start shopping for baby stuff? I knew from that moment that this time, nothing would stop us anymore from having a baby.
What happened next? Find out on my next post.

My Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and My First Fertility Treatment

As I had mentioned on my About Me page, my husband and I were already trying to have a baby since 2005 – with no luck. I had a total of 2 miscarriages – the first one happened in 2006 and the second one in 2010 (I had no idea that I was pregnant since I always have irregular periods).

Our first fertility treatment started on 2007 after consulting an ob-gyne (let’s just call her Dr. D for now) for my continuous vaginal bleeding. She did a transvaginal sonogram and she found out that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The worse thing about it was that both ovaries were affected. I was devastated, especially when she told us that there’s a large possibility that my condition might be the reason why we’re still childless. She also conducted a sperm analysis on my husband and everything’s normal (lucky him!).

Dr. D immediately prescribed me with Duphaston to stop my bleeding. Had to take it for five (or ten?) days and on the third day of my period, she prescribed me with Clomiphene (Clomid) – a fertility drug. I was also instructed to take a pregnancy test the following month.

My first month of fertility treatment failed. They were wondering why I couldn’t produce eggs despite the fact that I’m taking Clomid. Dr. D increased its dosage and told me to take Metformin once a day everyday (for my PCOS) during my second month of treatment. Everything failed again. Same thing with third and fourth month.

She started to introduce a procedure called Tubal Cannulation, wherein she would be able to flush my fallopian tubes to check if there’s a blockage or something. That procedure was worth P7,000 at that time and since we were not yet ready to gamble our “itsy-bitsy” savings, we decided to take a rest and try again without the help of any fertility treatments.

3 years had passed and my womb’s still empty. Out of desperation, I tried to self medicate with the drugs Dr. D prescribed me during our treatments without my husband’s knowledge. After two months, I had my “Year 2010 Miscarriage”.  I had no idea that I was pregnant since my periods are always irregular.

We went back to Dr. D with the palm-sized lump of blood that came out during (what I thought was) my 6-hour dysmenorrhea attack. She then confirmed that it was indeed a miscarriage, and the probable cause might be my hormonal imbalance (hormonal imbalance and PCOS are sisters). She instructed me to continue taking Metformin everyday.

Was I able to cure my PCOS with Metformin? Did I finally get pregnant after this? Find out on my next post.

Friendly Reminder:
Do not try to self medicate with the drugs mentioned in my post. Treatment for PCOS depends on the severity of the condition. It is always important to consult your doctor first before taking anything.