The arena is set right from the beginning. The battle of the boards commences as soon as parents start looking for a school most suitable for their child. CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) offer similar subjects, but varied approaches and perspectives. Every child is different, hence it is crucial to cater to their individual aptitude and aspirations. Let us analyze the pros and cons of each board so that you can make an informed decision about your child’s future.
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE): CBSE affiliated schools are extremely popular for school-level education in India. CBSE conducts the All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE) on a yearly basis, for students who complete their twelfth grade. This is a pivotal exam, as it serves as a basis for them to pursue higher education in fields matching their aptitude and interest. CBSE also conducts the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), which serves as an entry-point for admission into undergraduate-level engineering courses.
Merits of CBSE
- As mentioned above, opting for a CBSE school will allow your child to appear for nation-wide entrance examinations based on the CBSE syllabus. It also has provision for appearing in the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) for those inclined towards purely medical fields.
- As CBSE is more popular in India, and CBSE-affiliated schools outnumber ICSE ones, it is an easier option for parents with transferable jobs. For eg, a certificate from one of the top CBSE schools in Gurgaon, will be valuable and recognized throughout the country, in all colleges and academic centers. Also, it is recognized by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
- The CBSE syllabus is comparatively easier than other boards, and its concentric curriculum consists of fewer subjects and a more compact structure. While secondary subjects such as Art & Crafts and Environmental Education are not compulsory under CBSE, they will groom your child to attain comprehensive knowledge regarding other disciplines. Also, there is an added emphasis on Mathematics and Science subjects.
Demerits of CBSE
- The CBSE syllabus does not give prominence to core English knowledge or the development of nuanced literary theory. Humanities-related subjects are less detailed in comparison with science and commerce subjects.
- The overall approach of a CBSE syllabus is pragmatic and theoretical in nature. Although application-oriented exercises are carried out, there is little room for in-depth, research-oriented understanding.
Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE): The ICSE board was first established by the Local Examinations Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. The ICSE syllabus differs vastly from that of the CBSE curriculum, mainly in terms of depth and volume. The board conducts an ICSE examination pots tenth grade and an ISC examination towards the end of twelfth grade.
Merits of ICSE
- The ICSE syllabus is more comprehensive, as it covers all fields with equal importance. Students more inclined towards humanities and management studies will find the syllabus diverse, challenging, and fruitful.
- Certification granted by the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education board will be recognized around the globe, particularly by foreign schools and universities, which will prove to be an advantage for those who wish to apply abroad.
- A special emphasis is laid on English in the ICSE course, hence, students might be able to perform better in examinations such as TOEFL and IELTS.
Demerits of ICSE
- Some students may find the syllabus too difficult or extensive, as the ratio of subjects are significantly greater than that of CBSE.
- While an ICSE syllabus can cultivate a deeper understanding and greater analytical acumen, pursuing further education might prove to be cumbersome due to lack of leniency in paper evaluation.
Hence, both ICSE and CBSE boards have their fair share of pros and cons. Deciding which board will be best for your child is a decision that only you, as an informed parent, can make. However, what is most optimum is choosing a good school, irrespective of the board you decide to settle for. After all, the quality of education received by your child should assume utmost importance.