If you are seeking admissions for your child in Indian schools, you are likely to ponder over the syllabuses to choose from. The present system of education in India offers students various options for their Class X examination. There are state, national and international boards like the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC), Indian Certificate for Secondary Education (ICSE), Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), National Open School (NOS), International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate (IB). In this post, I will list what people have to say about the CBSE and the ICSE syllabuses. Since the time Sivabalan, an r2blore reader, listed a few points about the CBSE and ICSE syllabuses, I was on the look out for different views on the subject on the internet and from people who knew enough to compare. (There will be a separate post about ICGSE later.)
Here are some of the points that I have collected. I am including Sivabalan’s initial list here too.
Please do list out your thoughts on the subject too in the comments.
- CBSE syllabus stresses less on academic/theoretical stuff and more on Math and Science. And everybody seems to mostly concur with this point.
- The CBSE system of teaching hones the children towards thinking/problem solving methodology.
- Most of the Indian competitive exams are based on the CBSE syllabus.
- Typically, parents in transferable jobs prefer CBSE because of its national curriculum. And you have many Kendriya Vidyalayas and other private CBSE schools all over India.
One of my friends who chose CBSE for her daughter has this to say, “I went to a CBSE board school, and so I knew it was a nice syllabus. Also, our neighbor’s daughters were doing ICSE and were always studying cos of the heavy syllabus; very detailed and loads to learn.”
- The syllabus is compatible amongst the common wealth countries. So with the ICSE, it is easier to relocate to some of the other countries in the middle of a school year.
- People also seem to recommend ICSE syllabus if the child may go abroad for under-grad education.
- The ICSE syllabus is heavy on languages.
- Syllabus may not be the best background for the Indian competitive/entrance exams.
- ICSE offers more atypical courses like home science, agriculture, fashion design, cookery etc. The exposure to atypical courses may help a child see beyond the obvious career choices.
One of my neighbors who consciously chose the ICSE syllabus for her 2 daughters says, “We chose ICSE because of its tougher standards. And if and when the girls move to CBSE or state syllabus in the 9th/10th, they will find those easy then!“
Comparisons between ICSE and CBSE
- ICSE provides a good overall development; the focus on literature is good. The CBSE concentrates more on Math and Science, which gives that slight edge for the engineering competitive exams.
- It is said that the ICSE syllabus is more extensive, and that the CBSE is more intensive. To elaborate, in the CBSE system of teaching, there are more objective kind of questions, which prepares students for national level competitive exams. ICSE is more liberal and gives a good choice of subjects. One can opt out of math and science in ICSE, not so in CBSE. The ICSE course develops thinking and analytical skills in a student because it is extensive.
- The CBSE folks may find it tough to switch to ICSE at higher levels, but apparently ICSE guys can easily switch to CBSE.
“In ICSE projects on various subjects are an integral part. Also, there’s a clear emphasis on English literature whereas in CBSE, English is functional, communication-based “ says the Principal, Sri Kumaran’s Children’s Home. Kumaran’s offers ICSE and CBSE syllabuses to its students.
CBSE: The Central Board of Secondary Education is an eminent board of school education in India.The CBSE prepares the syllabus for students from Lower Kindergarten (L.K.G) to Class 12, for schools affiliated with it. It conducts India’s 2 wide board examinations: the All India Secondary School Examination for Class 10 and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination for Class 12, which is a school-leaving examination. It also prescribes the syllabuses for these examinations, whose scores are necessary to gain admission in higher study institutes. Many private schools through the country affiliate themselves with the CBSE. The medium for education prescribed by CBSE is either English or Hindi. There are many Indian school in different countries that are also affiliated to CBSE.
CBSE All India Senior School Certificate Examination for Class 12 is widely recognized internationally for direct admission to university undergraduate courses.
CBSE also conducts the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) which is a common entrance examination on all-India basis for admission to engineering and architecture/planning programs in the country. Similarly Pre-medical and Pre-dental Tests AIPMT (PMT/PDT) are conducted for medical and dental colleges after the 10+2 exams.
CBSE is considered as a premier board in India as it incorporates modern learning techniques in its syllabi besides close to 5119 schools are affiliated to the board which are located all over India and abroad.
ICSE: The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) examination is an examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations for class 10, i.e., grade 10. It has been designed to provide an examination in a course of general education, in accordance with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 1986 (India), through the medium of English. The examination allows secure suitable representation of Governments responsible for schools (which are affiliated to it) in their States/Territories. Private candidates are not permitted to appear for this examination.
In all subjects other than Science and Computers, students must submit compulsory coursework assignments. In groups I and II they count for 20% of the student’s performance in the subject; in group III the assignments count for 50%. In Science and Computers, students are tested on their lab work.
In subjects where there is more than one paper, the mark in the subject is calculated by taking the average of all papers in the subject.
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