Which board to choose from SSC, CBSE, ICSE and IB ?

Choosing the board most suitable for your child can be a harrowing experience. Many parents are confused with which board to choose. There are namely four common boards like the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education),ICSE (Indian Certificate is Secondary Education), IB (International Baccalaureate)and the SSC (State Boards).
A common misconception is that CBSE and ICSE are both education boards similar to SSC boards of state government. CBSE is an education board but ICSE is the certificate offered after completion of the course and it is not a board. Still ICSE board is commonly used to mention this course.
Secondary School Certificate, commonly known as SSC, is a public examination taken by students in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Goa in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan , after successfully completing at least ten years of schooling. It is followed by Higher Secondary (School) Certificate (HSC). SSC is an equivalent to GCSE in the England.
State Boards are comparatively limited in the content and subjects as compared to other boards. The syllabus is easier and hence less stressful to the students. These schools being state centric are excellent for parents planning to stay in the same state for life. The State language is compulsory. As the concepts are generally lagging the kids have to be given external coaching, if planning for IIT, CAT and other competitive exams. These schools are great for kids who are focused on extracurricular activities like sports etc.
Central Board of Secondary Education: Know as the CBSE board. It prepares the syllabus for students up to Class 12. The curriculum is set by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). The board conducts India’s two nation-wide board examinations: the All India Secondary School Examination for Class 10 and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination for Class 12.
Many schools are affiliated to CBSE syllabus. All major cities have CBSE schools, hence easy to move around in the country. The curriculum is very good when it comes to general knowledge and general subjects. It allows the kids to experience subjects without going deep into them thus helping them to choose the focus after Xth. This board prepares kids for competitive exams like the IIT, CAT, IIM and all entrance exams which are held at national level and it gives better chances for appearing for Armed Forces Exams, NDA, IAS, IFS, IPS.etc. The schools also focus a lot on extracurricular activities Most of which are compulsory thus assuring an overall growth of the child. One disadvantage is the length of the syllabus. It has vast syllabus
The ICSE is short form of Indian Certificate for Secondary Education. It was established by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. The council conducts an all India exam for Class 10 called ICSE(Indian Certificate for Secondary Education) and for class 12 called the Indian School Certificate (ISC).
The ICSE board follows the basics strengthening syllabus. all the introduction is repeated and then quadratic equations are handled. Even questions are based on the basics. This makes the basics of the topic very strong. This helps the student a lot of confidence when higher studies are involved. As his basics are very strong, half the job is done. There is lot of focus on language and literature. So good for kids wanting to make a career which involves writing, reading, talking, debating, arguing, surveying, historians, geologist etc. This curriculum is very good when it comes to general knowledge and general subjects . However it is unnecessarily vast.
This board is also good for competitive exams like IIT, IIM, CAT, All India entrance exams, but needs extra time and coaching. Even Armed forces exams can be appeared after this board. ICSE syllabus is particularly important for students who prefer higher education abroad. Exams like GRE, TOEFL and GMAT have a lot of verbal ability testing. Its also excellent for those who are migrating from abroad as the curriculum is close to international board. One important distinguishing feature in ICSE syllabus is the importance given to projects. Projects are very important and they form the basis of marking scheme in the performance of the student. This makes the student extremely active and it improves his thinking ability.
IB Board
This board is excellent for kids whose parents are globe trotters as it enables kids to get admission into any IB school across the world. There are very few students in each batch, hence ensures quality focus on each child. The syllabus is taught in most interesting and interactive way with the best of equipments. The overall atmosphere in the school is international, with kids taking teachers as their equals. However these schools can be extremely expensive!
What we have attempted here is to give an non biased analysis of each schools. However each board has its own merits and demerits. The choice is up to you to decide which syllabus is most suited for your child.


CBSE or ICSE or ib or igcse or State Board

So, many boards for today’s parents to choose from . my parents were bit lucky as schools were few and only 1 school was nearby. So, had no choice but studied from ICSE medium. It’s hard to imagine that today it becomes difficult to choose. There will be questions like ICSE board is tough or you have to study Shakespeare English, CBSE is good, if preparing for IIT jee and PMT. Have plan to send your child abroad, go for Ib or igcse. Many of you must be thinking that ib and igcse are same, as I was also thinking few years back. State boards have become like leftover in between.

I just wonder, do students outshine because of Board? A question to ponder. Or it is school make a difference, or parents or culture inculcated in family or society. Or its a home tutor or coaching class makes a difference. In the midst, you forget that it is “student who makes a difference”.

How do you benchmark ” successful “. Is it money that how much salary, he/she is drawing? Or his achievements. If you start thinking, you will not come with conclusion. So, why so fuss in choosing Boards.

But, we need to critically evaluate:
Let’s understand each board in detail:

  1. State Board: Education is in concurrent list. Hey, I don’t understand concurrent. Any law that is framed by State and Union Government both, is classified (actually, I am boasting my knowledge of Civics studied in ICSE board?). So, each state has different boards, like Maharashtra State Board for SSC (i.e. 10th) and HSC (I.e. 12th). Disparity comes because each state has different syllabus and different ways of evaluation. You will wonder that highest number of students study from state board. Because, tuition fee is affordable, syllabus is not vast. What you learn, you learn empathy, since your class has students from all walks of life. Schools might not have electronic Board, but will teach you a life long lesson. You may struggle in your graduation days. But, its a good start. There is good chance that you yourself has studied from Maharashtra state board( People call it Pune Board, also because head office is in Pune).

CBse board: idea of setting CBSE board was that government employees get transferred in 3 years. So, students were finding it difficult to cope up with change in syllabus every 3 years as different state has different board, already stated above. So, CBSE came with standards, uniformity and discipline. ncert decided syllabus and publushes book. Many renowned group like dav, jawahar navoday vidhyala, sainik or army school or central Govt company has CBSE board. Yes, its true syllabus of iitjee and PMT exam is based on the syllabus of CBSE. It becomes relatively easier for students as he/she does not have to study 2 extra syllabus.

ICSE: it goes to colonial times, when Britishers have to study in India. So, they brought forward CGSe (board in UK) and rechristened as ICSe. So, if you have heard, English is tough, its really difficult. You will study 3 books Drama Merchant of Venice or Julius Caesar, selected short stories and poems. You will not study science but you will study Physics chemistry biology, social studies will be History, Civics and Geography with Topography. It’s true, syllabus is vast and extensive but exam is relatively easier as you get lots of choice. You learn lot, when it comes to 12th and preparing for Engineering or Medical, it will take extra pain. Don’t worry, there is No Pain, No Gain. When you go in Engineering, your friends will be becoming accustomed to new environments and new study, you are already familiar with it.

ib igcse: how many of you think its same. Let’s get a poll done to know your response.
Igcse is board run by London and Ib by Switzerland.
Every board comes with logic. Here, it goes the same, world has started integrating and employees are traveling across the globe. So, why not have standard syllabus for these globe trotter children, so ib igcse was born. Study is vastly different, as it is application based and less of theory or rote learning. Heavy on pocket, as schools are damn expensive. Your professional course or higher education will be less expensive. Class size will be less crowded. Don’t you see airports are less crowded and Railway stations are over crowded. If you are from Mumbai.

Debate of Boards will continue. Each board has different style and addresses different issues. What you need to understand, that school, teacher and mentor has to be good, to understand life skills. Each individual have different  choices.

This is Life. Success, happiness have different definitions. Respect, humility, knowledge and kindness can be taught in any schools of learning. So, decide judiciously.


Neha Joshi

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