When it comes to giving your child the best education possible, choosing the right board and a good school is very important. This choice presents a dilemma to every parent setting off on this journey. How does one choose? What is the best option in terms of a board or system of education that gives every child a strong foundation, and enough flexibility to choose a path that allows them to maximise their strengths and talents? What are the things one has to consider when picking a board?
The Indian system has two predominant national-level boards, recognised across the country – ICSE and CBSE boards. Choosing the right board will significantly impact the way in which children develop, choose the career for which they have aptitude and pursue their goals in life.
For this purpose we should have a clearer understanding about an ICSE curriculum and what it entails. The ICSE examination is conducted by the CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination) Board, and is an offshoot of the Cambridge IGCSE that was already in existence during British rule. It was later co-opted by the Anglo Indian Board and renamed as Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. The foundation is based on the early structure of Senior Cambridge Board, but over the course of time has also assimilated influences from closer home via the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training).
Nationally and globally recognised
The ICSE certificate of passing, issued on completion of the Grade 10 exam stands at par with all other nationally-recognised boards. It is now also recognised by several foreign institutions as it is equivalent to high school examination in other foreign countries.
Rich, balanced, wholesome content
The content of the syllabus is topically wide and in-depth for the better understanding of students. While it is said that a CBSE education focuses more on Math and Science, with a greater goal to enable students for various entrance exams, an ICSE education does that and more. Besides focusing on concepts in Math and Science, ICSE also offers an equal weightage to languages, arts and humanities. This allows for a more balanced, wholesome and inclusive education. Using English as the medium of education focuses on strengthening language skills . This will hold students in good stead when applying to universities abroad for higher education.
Practical engagement and assessment
The structure of the ICSE syllabus requires students to look beyond textbooks, venture into their labs and gather hands on experience to get a practical insight into concepts learnt in the classroom. This makes for an enriching experience which is not limited to learning by rote alone. In addition, a heavy weightage is given to project work, research, group assignments and internal assessment, giving students opportunity to prove their mettle besides faring well in examinations.
Strong basics and foundation
A deliberate attempt to look at quality content over quantity means that students are encouraged to diversify their interests and develop a curious, questioning and analytical approach to learning. The methodology has evolved over the years to focus on an all-round, experiential and active system, rather than a one-way transfer of information as is typically expected. This has elevated the standard and the quality of education and gives students a strong foundation for whatever career option they may choose.
Immense future potential
A combination of a syllabus with global content, teaching methodologies that glean from systems across the world, and a focus on satisfying curious, analytical minds has helped students who want to pursue higher studies abroad, in humanities, science and technology or management studies. This ensures a good potential for a flourishing corporate career. Moreover a good base in English language is cultivated and this gives ICSE students a definite edge over other Indian students in language exams like TOEFL and IELTS.
It is sometimes believed that obtaining high grade in the ICSE board is an arduous one . This is attributed to the density of content and the amount of syllabus students have to cover in the last few years of school. However, this is where the skill of a magnified teaching body and well researched teaching methodology adopted by a school plays a role. A large part of the onus of making our students successful is on the school where teachers gives them guidance, support and inputs they need. In our school we create an environment that nurtures learning, provides the infrastructure and an atmosphere which makes students confident, increases their quest for knowledge and prepares them to appear for Board Exams, use their potential to the fullest and achieve success.