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CBSE or ICSE? Which Curriculum is Better for Indian Schools?

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There are two major examination boards which exist in India. The most popular one is the “Central Board of Secondary Education” (CBSE) and the other one, which is similar to CBSE, yet not very popular, is the “Indian Certificate of Secondary Education” (ICSE). Both examination boards are equally good for the bright future of students, but there exists a slight difference between them. First, we need to see the overview of how these boards work so that the difference is understood in a better way.

CBSE Curriculum

CBSE is a national level board of education in India. It is managed and controlled by the Union Government of India and it follows the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) approved the curriculum for the various subjects that it offers to the students.

ICSE Curriculum

ICSE, on the other hand, is governed by the ‘Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations’ (CISCE). It follows a very vast curriculum, with more emphasis on providing balance in all the subjects offered.

The key areas of difference in both these examination boards are as follows –

  • Level of difficulty

    – CBSE is a relatively easier exam to crack than the ICSE. This is because CBSE has just six subjects whereas there are about twelve subjects in ICSE. More number of subjects may put a huge burden on the students.

  • Subject Emphasis

    – CBSE lays more emphasis on science and mathematics and therefore it is more suitable for those students who aim to get into the medical or engineering field since the syllabus provided is very helpful to prepare for national level entrance exams like IIT-JEE, NEET, etc. Whereas, ICSE pays more attention on providing equal importance to each and every subject which it offers, whether it is science, mathematics, arts, literature, etc. and even subjects like interior design.

  • Availability

    – CBSE is more suitable for the children, whose parents move around frequently to different parts of the country or even the world since CBSE syllabus is offered in most of the schools. ICSE, on the other hand, is not very popular in Indian Schools, but still it is offered by quite a few institutions in India and it is even recognised by many institutions abroad.

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  • Flexibility of Curriculum

    – CBSE offers a very rigid curriculum and there are very limited options for the selection of subjects. On the other hand, ICSE offers a more flexible curriculum and students can choose from a vast range of subjects as per their interests and career choices.

  • Medium of Instruction

    – CBSE offers English and Hindi as mediums of instruction. ICSE offers only English as a medium of instruction.

  • Recognition by the Government

    – CBSE is recognised by the Government of India whereas ICSE is not. But still, the certificates provided by both are valid and recognised by most of the institutions across India and other countries across the globe.

  • Regular and Private Candidates

    – CBSE allows the students who are studying in CBSE affiliated schools (regular candidates) as well as those who are studying in non-affiliated schools (private candidates) to appear for the examination. ICSE does not allow private candidates to appear for the examination.

  • Assessment Method

    – CBSE lays more emphasis on the scores which are obtained by the student in the main written examination. On the other hand, ICSE treats the aggregate of marks obtained in the practical examinations and lab works along with the marks obtained in the written examination with equal importance.

Hence, both the examination boards; the CBSE and ICSE need to be chosen in accordance with the IQ level as well as the aspirations of the student.

If the student wishes to pursue a career in medicine and engineering, then he/she should choose CBSE and if the student wants to have a career in English Literature or arts, then he/she can choose ICSE.

Both the examination boards are equally important and have their own advantages. Their suitability for Indian schools is more dependent on the fact as to how the knowledge is imparted to the students as well as the interest levels and career choice of the students.

Many schools in India provide both CBSE and ICSE curriculum in their schools and students can select any one out of these two boards. In such a case, managing both these examination boards becomes a tedious task for the schools, since each board has its own set of rules, procedures and syllabus. UC School ERP software provides the perfect solution for simultaneously managing these two boards, that is, CBSE and ICSE, as well as other examination boards like the various State Boards, IGCSE, etc. very efficiently and with no amount of confusion.