Our Indian education system now has some great options of International boards over and above the regular Indian school boards. These options are now a part of our mainstream education system. and are ideal to address the dynamic needs of our Indian students.
These offerings empower students and prepare them for global citizenship. And at the same time, these are also great to address the voids of our traditional schooling framework.
Let’s understand the structure of the prominent Indian and International boards of education. And figure how these choices make a difference in a student’s academic journey.
The Indian Boards of Education
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
The Central Board of Secondary Education follows the objectives set in the National Curriculum Framework 2005. It conducts exams for classes 10th and 12th and is one of the most trusted names in the Indian education system. The board believes in the balance of academic activities. And it caters to different kinds of learners.
Schools affiliated with CBSE follow a standardized pattern. And the board follows a comprehensive and continuous evaluation system for assessments (formative and summative). It prescribes textbooks to the students and most of these are through the ‘NCERT’ i.e. National Council of Education Research and Training. It is one of the most widely recognized boards across India. And students can also appear for scholarship exams after clearing their board exams from CBSE.
Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)
CISCE is an education board that conducts ICSE and ISC examinations. It believes in creating better learning opportunities for the learners. And is committed to raise the bar of education.
The examinations conducted under this board are as follows:
- Class 10th ICSE – The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education is one of the popular Indian boards that conducts exams for classes 10th and 12th. It is believed to be a more difficult board as compared with the CBSE. Because it has a syllabus that focuses more on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge. This board has English as the medium. And it does not allow private candidates to appear for the exams. It conducts examinations according to the recommendations of the National Policy of Education, 1986.
- Class 12th ISC – Conducts board exams for class 12th. And this is the next level after class 10th.
- CVE 12 – The Certificate of Vocational Education Examination- An examination conducted according to the recommendations of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, through the Joint Council of Vocational Education (under the National Policy of Education 1986).
National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)
The National Institute of Open Schooling is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Education, Government of India. It is the largest open schooling system in the world and offers courses up to the pre-degree level. This open school was established in the year 1989. It offers open schooling options from elementary to senior secondary levels. Other than these, students can also join its vocational education courses. And NIOS also offers a Diploma in Elementary Education program (D.El.Ed) for in-service teachers, along with life enrichment and life skills programs.
NIOS also has an examination facility called ‘On Demand Examination System’, wherein students select their preferred date for their exams. This feature is available only for the registered learners of NIOS (secondary and senior secondary levels).
The USP of this board is that it offers a variety of subjects for students (more than other boards). And they can also choose to study conveniently at their self-decided individual pace. This unique feature has helped Indian parents to homeschool the children easily.
In each state of India, the respective government imparts education across the primary, secondary and higher secondary levels. The examinations under the state boards are conducted in the local board pattern. These state boards follow an easier curriculum in comparison with the other boards. And mainly students who are into sports or extra-curricular activities go for this option. This choice also brings down the cost of education. Because schools affiliated with state boards have a lower fees structure.
The quality of education imparted in the schools under this board is not very promising. And the main reason behind this quality concern is the individual educational strategy followed by these boards.
Let’s move on to International boards now,
International Boards Currently Functioning in India
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
IGCSE is one of the most popular international boards in India. It offers a wide choice of subjects for students. And is known for its international standards and local cultural relevance.
Below is the pattern of this board with the permitted age groups:
- Cambridge Primary- 5 to 11 years.
- Cambridge Lower Secondary – 11 to 14 years
- Cambridge Upper Secondary -14 to 16 years
- Cambridge Advanced – 16 to 19 years
Presently, there is a network of over 10000 Cambridge schools (in 160 countries) across the world. And in India, around 539 centers are following this board. It is the best option for students who wish to pursue higher education abroad. Because this international board is widely recognized across universities that do not recognize CBSE or ICSE boards.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
The International Baccalaureate offers International education programs in 198 schools of India (till November 2021). This board focuses more on skill-based learning. And is one of the most acceptable educational programs across the top universities around the world.
IB curriculum framework is as follows:
- Primary Years Program – 3 to 12 years
- Middle years program – 11 to 16 years
- Diploma program -16 to 19 years
- Career-related program – 16 to 19 years
IB offers a range of subjects and focuses on skill-based learning. And it is believed to be a challenging curriculum that lays a solid foundation for university-level education.
These choices are a practical solution for the numerous challenges of our mainstream education system. And post the pandemic, 100% virtual schooling platforms with Indian and International options are also operating in India.
So, now you can avail the benefit of international educational standards right here in India!