About a decade ago, you did not need to look up for information regarding the various school boards in India as the State boards, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Council of Secondary Education (ICSE) used to be the leading ones in the country. But in this advanced era, a number of new boards have been added to the list of choices. With more choices in hand parents get confused to select the best board for their kids.
Here, we will discuss all the leading school boards in India and compare them basis their teaching and assessment methods, curriculum, difficulty level and other factors affecting the students’ development. Here, you will to get a fair idea about the features and benefits offered by different school boards in India.
1. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is the most popular board in India , controlled and managed by Union Government of India. With around 19,316 CBSE affiliated schools in India, the board also has global presence with nearly 141 affiliated schools across 21 countries.
Objective: CBSE always works with a vision to provide stress-free education to its students by adapting innovative teaching methods infused with psychological and instructive principles.
Syllabus: CBSE syllabus more or less focuses on preparing students for Engineering and Medical entrance examinations. All national entrance examinations are conducted as per the CBSE syllabus. The board emphasises on the use of NCERT Books which form the basis of all entrance examinations conducted in India.
Examination: The two major examinations conducted by CBSE are All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) for Class 10 and All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE) for Class 12. It also conducts Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to premium engineering colleges in India and All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) for admission to medical colleges of India.
The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) is a private non- governmental board of school education in India.
Objective: The main objective of ICSE is to provide high quality education to tudents through a practical approach. It encourages students to choose across diverse streams/subjects for Class 12 by putting equal emphasis on science, arts and language subjects, especially English.
Syllabus: CISCE syllabus is more vast and comprehensive in comparison with that of CBSE. It has been structured in a way to give practical knowledge and build analytical skills required for the overall development of a student.
Examination: The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations conducts three examinations, namely, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE –Class X); The Indian School Certificate (ISC - ClassXII) and the Certificate in Vocational Education (CVE - Year 12).
3. International Baccalaureate (IB)
International Baccalaureate is a no-profit educational organization that offers prime quality programmes for children aged between 3 and 19. The IB schools are considered prestigious, at the same time expensive.
Objective: It focuses on Analytical skills, language, arts and humanities. The purpose of the IB is to produce global citizens
Syllabus: It has international curriculum where subjects are taught in an integrated way in order to avoid a fragmented approach. IB has a different approach with few textbooks. Students are free to explore the world.
Examination: It has 3 sections, the PYP (Primary years program- KG to 5th std), MYP (Middle years program –Std 6-10) and the DYP (Diploma years program, Std 11 and 12). It has no prescribed textbooks delivering a lot of freedom in learning.
4. International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
Many schools in India are now getting affiliated to the IGCSE. The IGCSE exams are conducted by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). IGCSE has worldwide status and credibility which makes it suitable for children whose parents may relocate internationally so that they will be able to manage the change effectively.
Objective: IGCSE focuses on improving the performance of a student by developing his/her analytical, inquisitive and problem solving skills.
Syllabus: The IGCSE offers all the subjects similar to the ICSE and the CBSE. It lays a lot of emphasis on English and students are encouraged to propel their creativity through a variety of writings. Then there is additional focus on foreign language that is intended to help the children in the long run.
Examination: The examinations are conducted at the end of Class 10 and class 12. At the end of Class X, students are evaluated under the Cambridge O-level examination. After this exam, students can either continue in IGCSE or move on to other boards. After clearing Cambridge O-level students are evaluated at the end of Class 12 under the Cambridge A-level exam.
5. State Boards
State boards are specific to each State and follows separate syllabus and grading methodology. Every state board has its own educational approach which causes a variance in the syllabus from one state to another state in India.
Objective: It focuses on state level topics and content of local relevance which helps students in preparing for state level engineering and medical entrance tests. .
Syllabus: The syllabus is usually limited when compared to other boards. Regional languages and culture have a prominent place in the syllabus. Some state boards have ordered all their schools to follow NCERT books only which are important for students to prepare for pan India examinations.
Exams: Exams are conducted in each class. In Class X, the students appear for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and the Class XII students appear for the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) exams.