Education is very important in every child’s life. Why? It is what shapes them into who they will become in the future. Education is one of the basics for survival, especially in today’s competitive world. Education is what prepares children to face the world on a regular basis as they grow and reach the various stages in the human lifecycle. Hence it is important for every parent to ensure that their child obtains the best available education. In India, there are 3 main education boards to choose from: the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), and the State Board.
Difference between CBSE, ICSE and State Boards- Which board to choose for the child’s bright future
These 3 education boards are most widely implemented across India. They have their own set of merits and demerits. Which of the three should you choose? How do they differ from each other? If these are the questions that are bugging you, then don’t worry! This article is specially created to help you understand their differences and determine which of the three boards of education will be the best option for your child.
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
The most common board of education in India is the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The Central Board of Secondary Education is the Indian brand ambassador for the education system. The Central Board of Secondary Education is governed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which sets the syllabus.
The CBSE curriculum is available in two languages only: English and Hindi. Nevertheless, the syllabus will be the same throughout the country. The Central Board of Secondary Education is known to mold students and prepare them for competitive exams like NEET and JEE. What’s more? CBSE adopts an application or practical based learning model such that education is more application driven rather than being simply theoretical. The CBSE offers 7 areas of study to focus on: Humanities, Mathematics, Science and technology, Health and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts and Commerce.
- Advanced educational system
- Same syllabus across all states
- Available in both English and Hindi
- Prepares students for competitive exams
- Application oriented learning
- Uses activities to understand theoretical concepts but fails to thoroughly explain real life concepts
- More focused on science and mathematics, English and other subjects are do not receive same importance
- Not as successful in rural areas due to limiting medium of instruction only to English or Hindi (instead of adopting regional language)
Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)
Another top board of education is the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education was established by the Local Examinations Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. What’s truly special about ICSE is that it does not support Hindi as a medium of instruction and instead adopts English as the sole medium of instruction. What’s more? It opts for a radically different curriculum than CBSE (which may share some similarities with other boards of education in India).
In fact, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education is more geared towards preparing students for the global context. Students under ICSE are more capable of competing with other curriculums across the world which makes them more qualified for International Competitive Exams, education abroad and career abroad. At the end of 10th, students have to face the ICSE examination; after 12th, they have to prepare for the Indian School Certificate (ISC) examination.
- Equal importance to all subjects
- ICSE certification is recognized all over the world
- Prepares students for international competitive exams like TOEFL and GRE
- Comprehensive and detailed syllabus
- More inclined towards studying real life ideas and applying theoretical concepts
- Not as successful in rural areas due to limiting medium of instruction only to English (instead of adopting national/regional language)
- The syllabus is very challenging and has higher level of difficulty
The State Board is run by each state government. To be more specific, its curriculum and functioning is formed and regulated, respectively, by each state government’s Department of Education. This means that the State Board syllabus differs in each state, however it is mostly based on NCERT recommendations and may share a few similarities with the CBSE curriculum. It is more popular due to it adopting the particular state’s regional language as the medium of instruction. But the State Board is also available with English as the medium of instruction. The State Board curriculum aims to make education available, accessible and affordable to all of the state’s students. Hence it adopts a more basic syllabus that is aimed at increasing the literacy rate of each state.
- More available, accessible and affordable to all (especially in rural areas)
- Aims to increase literacy rate
- Adopts regional language of each state as the medium of instruction
- Syllabus is more easy than other boards of education
- Shares similarities with curriculum of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
- Basic syllabus that is not as comprehensive or challenging as that of other boards of education
- Inherently theoretical in nature (lacks practical approach to learning and understanding real life concepts)
- Fails to prepare students for competitive exams
Which is the best board of education for students in India?
Each of the 3 boards of education come with their own set of merits and demerits. They each serve different purposes. It is here where parents need to spend more time to choose the curriculum that they think will best suit their child. For parents who are not able to afford ICSE and CBSE, the State Board curriculum is a good choice; besides, the state government offers benefits for State Board students which ICSE and CBSE students do not enjoy. CBSE curriculum is best suited for students aspiring for central government jobs or those who need to crack national competitive exams. For parents who can afford making higher investments in the education of their child and those who wish for their children to pursue higher education or career abroad, then ICSE curriculum is the best choice.