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CBSE, ICSE or State Board!

Being a parent of growing kid, I am always curious to get information of every nearby school (both Secondary and Higher Secondary) results. I want my kid to get admitted in best possible school so that her future will be secure.. But I get confused everytime while deciding the RIGHT board for my child, CBSE, ICSE or even State Board. How to decide, which parameters I need to consider etc.. I try to get advice from fellow parents, try to understand on how to decide, but everyone has their own opinion and I only get more confused ☺

Let me try to note down few criteria which may help.. First, three types of CBSE, ICSE and State Board are available here. I am ruling out State Board for now, as we are still not very comfortable with local language (Kannada) and apparently Kannada is primary language for state board schools here. Another one is IGCSE, which is primarily focused for International Education and follows different curriculum.

Board Details:   CBSE is Central Board of Secondary Education which conducts both 10th and 12th exam. ICSE and ISC exams are conducted by CISCE (Council for Indian School Certificate Examination). ICSE is for 10th and ISC is for 12th Grade exam. CBSE is recognized by Indian government whereas ICSE is not. Although the certificates provided by both of them are globally valid, yet CBSE has a better footing than ICSE. CISCE is now recognized by many foreign education systems as equivalent to senior examination or high school.

Syllabus Structure:   General perception is ICSE is more focused towards Literature whereas CBSE is inclined towards Science however my personal opinion is different. When I look at 5th/ 6th standard ICSE syllabus and subject list, I see separate exams for Physics, Chemistry, Biology whereas in CBSE we have separate subjects in classroom and they teach separately but during exam it is combined exam like Science or Social (not History and Geography separately). During exam time, we see ICSE exam is lasts for around one month due to 10/11 subjects in 5th/6th standard.. We also have two separate papers for English, one is for English Literature and other is for English Grammar. We get some relief in CBSE exam as your tension will last only for 6 exam papers.

In-Depth Knowledge:   As mentioned earlier, people feel CBSE syllabus concentrates more on Science and ICSE focus more on languages like English. But if you notice, in ICSE curriculum you will have separate subject for each and each subject consists of multiple chapters; so for students, you need to prepare in detail in every subject to score well. Probably the same is not true in CBSE… where you will get choice in entire set of questions and you get chance to skip certain portions, probably.

Switchover between Boards:   As ICSE syllabus covers more detail oriented, it is easier to switch over from ICSE to CBSE. Same is not true while taking admission from CBSE to ICSE board school.

Medium of Instruction:   CBSE approves both English and Hindi language as the medium of instructions, ICSE does not recommend Hindi.

Assessments:   This is one major aspect while finalizing board and school in this competitive world. 10th and 12th marks will be referred in all future references.. As per new norm, CBSE has done away with 10th board exam, it is optional for CBSE but mandatory for ICSE. CBSE has started grading and percentile systems where ICSE follows actual score in each subject. In my opinion, scoring in CBSE is relatively easier than ICSE due to less number of subjects and concentrate more on six papers.

Each kid is different, similar way opinion we receive from every parent is unique; parents need to handle this very carefully as we see lot of negative messages in everyday newspaper in this competitive world and kids can not handle both school and peer pressure everytime. Choice between boards completely depend on each child's own interest towards science or literature, but parent need to be actively involved and guide their kid in right direction...

  • by- Rumpa Adhikari
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