Right from the start of academics of a child, the dilemma of choosing the board of education becomes a concern for parents. The choice of board makes a significant difference in the early development of the child and his/her exposure to the kind of education system that we have. In the Indian education system, two of the most recognised boards of education that one gets to opt for are CBSE and ICSE. Both are often compared for their core curriculum, difference in exams, complexity level, and future prospects.
CBSE is responsible for preparing the syllabus for the secondary and senior secondary levels. It is one the most preferred boards in India. It follows the national curriculum along with additional subject matter. The board conducts two examinations — the All India Secondary School Examination, AISSE (Class X) and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination, AISSCE (Class XII). CBSE is recognized by the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) with the aim to operate a chain of central schools (Kendriya Vidyalaya) that could cater to the government employees who are in transferable jobs. A number of private schools have started to offer CBSE since a lot of private sector employees are also moving from place to place. The CBSE syllabus is very structured, highly predictable and controlled. All national entrance examinations are conducted as per this syllabus.
ICSE comes under the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination(). A derivative of the Cambridge IGCSE that was present during the British regime and later taken over by the Anglo Indian Board and is now administered by the CISCE. ICSE is structured very similar to NCERT. At X class , it is as of now is the most rigorous board examination. ISC (Class XII) is equally challenging to crack owing to its incredibly detailed syllabus.
Students and their parents find it difficult to choose between CBSE and ICSE often due to lack of information. Here is a comprehensive comparison of the two exceedingly well-known educational institutions in India:
1. The first and foremost dissimilarity between the two boards is the medium of instructions approved by the boards.Whereas CBSE adopts both English and Hindi language as the medium of instructions, ICSE does not advocate Hindi.
2. The CBSE syllabus is comparatively more rationally oriented and scientific in its approach. For a specific year it is divided into various sections and every section is given a precise number of periods so that it can be thoroughly taught in one year. As a result, this system enables the teachers to prepare the teaching of different subjects in a consistent manner. Moreover, this method helps the students assign time to various topics in a balanced way.
3. The CBSE syllabus is designed in a more scientific approach by dividing the portions into several small units. A specific number of hours are assigned to complete each unit. The syllabus also includesweightage in terms of marks for each unit. The ICSE does not follow a scientific approach.
4. Unlike the ICSE, the CBSE syllabi are frequently upgraded. The CBSE has a “Front Line Curriculum” concept that updates the syllabus with more relevant materials. However, if a student desires to study and practice management studies then ICSE syllabus is relatively superior and apt compared to CBSE.
Students from CBSE background aspiring for entrance exams for IIT-JEE & PMT are at a considerable advantage over other boards because CBSE organizes these exams.
5. The ICSE has a compulsory environmental education as one of the subjects. CBSE does not make that mandatory.
6. The ICSE syllabus for Class X is rather tough and bulky as opposed to CBSE. One can score better in CBSE as compared to ICSE.
7. Other than examinations and syllabus, the two boards are engaged in a number of education related activities.
8. Research and expansion is given importance in CISCE, whereas CBSEis more on how to create better learning environments.
9. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations aims at providing high quality education to children.The primary objective of CBSE is to serve the needs of those students whose parents are employed in the government and have transferable jobs. The board has regional offices across the country to help it function efficiently.
10. Large number of schools across India are affliated to CBSE and the board allows both regular candidates who study in CBSE schools, as well as private candidates from non-affiliated schools to appear in the exams. On the contrary, ICSE does not allow a candidate who has not been studying in ICSE affiliated school.
11. ICSE students write three exams for the subject of Science, namely, Physics, Chemistry and Biology while CBSE students write only one exam, although they study all three disciplines.
12. The English language syllabus of CBSE is comparatively more convenient than the ICSE syllabus. While CBSE students write just one exam in English , ICSE students are required have to take up two exams in English.The ICSE English syllabus is the most competitive and one of the best in India. The ICSE students study Shakespeare in addition to two English papers in the English curriculum.
Likewise, ICSE students write two exams in Social Studies, viz, History and Geography while CBSE students write just one exam.
13. The syllabus that ICSE students undertake in the class 8th, CBSE students are imparted those lessons in the 9th and 10th classes.ICSE aims at students’ basic knowledge of various concepts. What is learnt in 8th standard gets stronger in 9th and 10th as they are taught a detailed version of 8th standard’s syllabus in 9th and 10th. But CBSE aims at maximum no. of pass-outs at the end of an academic year.
14. The fact that CBSE has introduced grading system for the examination results is another proof that it believes in the theory “education for all”. While ICSE has not proposed any grading system, keeping steadfast in its philosophy of quality education.
15. The syllabus prepared by CBSE is more suitable for qualifying in various entrance examinations, including
the medical and engineering professional exams. The curriculum of ICSE is more detailed and requires the student to remember a lot. CBSE is comparatively easier than ICSE.
Therefore, both the CBSE and ICSE have their own pros and cons.