What are the Different School Boards in India?

What are the Different School Boards in India?
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An education board is in charge of the education system or a small unit of it in a city, state, or country. The primary responsibility of a school board is to liaise with the community to improve student achievement in public or private schools. The school boards in India operate on the national and state level. All boards aim to provide equal and quality education to Indian students. There are three main national education boards in India and others in the state, but this article will focus on the four most popular school boards in the country. 

1. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

The CBSE curriculum is widely accepted in India. The board is managed and controlled by the Union Government of India. CBSE is available in both private and public schools in over 21,000 schools in India and 228 institutions globally affiliated to the board. All schools affiliated to the board must follow the NCERT syllabus. Many parents prefer the CBSE curriculum because it is available in other countries which is convenient for transferring students.

For example, the Global Indian International Schools, including GIIS Ahmedabad offer the CBSE syllabus. This means that your child can easily continue with their education in another school that offers the same curriculum.

Many national examinations in India are aligned to the CBSE syllabus. Exams usually are offered to students in class 10 and 12. The curriculum provides various options for its students in the sciences, commerce and humanities. Exams take place in February and March yearly. 

2. Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE)

ICSE is a private school education board in India designed to fulfil the criteria for the New Education Policy of 1986. The policy was introduced by Rajiv Gandhi and calls for equal provision of quality education for all Indians, including Scheduled Tribes (ST), Scheduled Caste (SC) communities and women. Students have a variety of subjects to choose from; however, after the main examination, the students are graded using the best six.

There are compulsory subjects and choice subjects. The ICSE examination is in English and is only for regular students, not private ones. Students who go to ICSE affiliated schools enjoy several benefits such as choosing their subjects, study in colleges abroad, holistic education and much more. However, it can be difficult for transferring students to switch to another board from ICSE. 

3. International Baccalaureate (IB)

The IB school board is a non-profit education organization in India. It is considered to be a significant development in the education system in India over the past few years. The IB program is an internationally acclaimed curriculum that aims to produce global citizens. The program is available to students from 3-19 years and is divided into three main sections.

The first is the Primary Years Program for kids in KG to 5th grade. Next, it is the Middle Years Program from 6th -10th grade and lastly, the Diploma years Program from 11th- 12th grade. The IB program uses different teaching methods that allow kids to explore the world. Children are taught using few textbooks and in an integrated approach focusing on analytic skills, languages, arts and humanities. 

4. State boards

Every state in India has a specific State Education Board with a different syllabus and grading method for each. The state board syllabus is relevant to the communities culture, language, and geography. This means that the syllabus in some states might be more limited than others, causing a variance in education for students who attend State Board affiliated schools. Some State Boards have made it mandatory for schools to use NCERT books to prepare for pan India examinations. Students are tested in every class. In class 10, the students go for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams and in class, 12 students take the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) exams.

The good thing about state board schools is that students learn subjects that are relevant locally helping them qualify for state-level careers such as engineering or medicine. State education is also significantly cheaper than schools affiliated to the other boards. Some of the disadvantages include outdated teaching methods, large classrooms and sometimes unqualified teaching staff.

Which one should you choose?

As a parent, you want your child to go to a school that will set them up for future success. For this reason, it is not enough to choose a school board because it has been ranked highest among the rest. In most cases, selecting a good school is highly dependent on the child’s needs. India has numerous other school boards unmentioned in the above list such as IGCSE, CIE, NIOS, and Cambridge International.

There is no doubt that most parents prefer CBSE but when making the decision, pay attention to your child’s learning capability and interests. It is also good to ensure that the school you choose fits within your needs as a family. For example, if you often travel then the best school board for you would be the CBSE or IB programs. Keep in mind that some schools cost more than others so the budget is also something you should keep in mind.

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