Which is a better, CBSE or ICSE board, IB or IGCSE? These are just a few of widely accepted boards across the country. Let’s learn in details what and how they can help our kids bright future.

  • My daughter is in upper Kindergarten, which board will be better for her in future?
  • My son has keen interest in ‘what goes in this’, he breaks and re-makes the toys? Think he would be in engineer, should I go for CBSE?
  • I have planned foreign education for my daughter, think IGCSE or IB will be a better choice. What say?

I have been asked these questions on social media and by friends. An ever lasting confusion in every parent’s mind. Which educational board is better for my child? In this post we will discuss each board in details.

CBSE or ICSE Board which is better

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE Board)

One of the most popular and easily accessible board of the country. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is controlled and managed by Union Government of India. With huge number of CBSE affiliated schools in India, the board also has its global presence across 21 countries. I am educated from CBSE board school, and so is my husband. It gives a huge leverage while preparing for entrance exams and competitive studies.

This is most preferred board for secondary and senior secondary level of education, due to it’s easy acceptability and vast network. Now, another important feature of CBSE is, that it is also recognized by the NCERT – National Council of Educational Research and Training. Which is again a government accredited society, responsible for centralizing the school education system in India.

Teaching methodology

Teaching methodology is robust, emphasizing more on logical reasoning and competitiveness. Math and Science are focal areas in CBSE education system, while books are illustrative and easy to understand. Accepts both the languages – English and Hindi as medium of instructions. The curriculum and books are followed as per NCERT guidelines. CBSE board also accepts private candidates from non-affiliated schools or home-schools.

Class 10th and 12th examinations are conducted by CBSE in concurrence with NCERT guidelines. As this is government recognized board, the certificates holds great significance and weight-age for future references.

Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations (ICSE)

ICSE board is a national level board of school education in India, but is a private body. A venture of Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations. However it holds same importance and relevance in terms of certification as CBSE. This council board has a vast history, and is widely accepted across India.

Over the years, ICSE board has adopted many reforms and changes from NCERT. The area of emphasis here is quite vast, as compared to CBSE. An equal importance is given to all streams and subjects, making it subjective and analytical at the same point. Hence, a vast area to cover for the students.

ICSE, does not accept Hindi as a medium of instructions. English language is given high importance, thus making it compulsory and solid base of medium.

Examinations
difference between CBSE or ICSE board
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

ICSE conducts three examinations – Class X, Class XII, and the Certificate of Vocational Education (CVE – Year 12). The certificates and its validation is accepted across globe.

Apart from there two nationally known and accepted educational boards in India, a few new entrants are also gaining popularity recently. IGCSE and IB boards.

IB or International Baccalaureate is an educational program offered by a no-profit organization, headquartered in Geneva. It is highly practical and application based educational program, with a broader perspective.

This is a well recognized worldwide program and offers a wide range of options unlike CBSE or ICSE. IB offers three educational programs –

  • Primary Years Program – Kindergarten to class 5th. (also read what is Montessori method of learning.)
  • Middle Years Program – Class 6th to class 10th.
  • The Diploma Program – Class 11th and class 12th.

IGCSE Board of Education

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a globally recognized educational program, taken at the Class 10 level. It is a two-year program starting at the Class 9 level. Any student who has done an early schooling from either of CBSE or ICSE board can join the IGCSE program at the Class 9 level. The program is very dynamic and demand high standards of learning and adaptability. IB and IGCSE are often considered as premium forms of educational boards in India and are expensive as compared to Cbse or Icse boards.

State Boards – SSC

Specific to each state, state boards follow separate pedagogy and ranking systems. The syllabus and curriculum is designed keeping state’s history and relevance in mind. The grading system and examination is almost same like that of CBSE or ICSE boards.

CBSE or ICSE Board which is a better option?

This is the most trickiest part on the whole post, which is a better board – CBSE or ICSE? There is no specific answer to this question. It all boils down to child’s personal learning abilities, areas of interest, and ease to understanding. Many schools today also offer a set up following no-board culture up to 4th grade. Parents and children then sit, counsel and decide the inclination based of child’s capabilities.

Again, we should not pressurize children to pick up a specific board against their own liking. Each board has its positives and negatives, we have to reason out each carefully and make a choice while keeping child’s interest as main focus.

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28 Comments

Srishti · September 12, 2019 at 7:15 pm

Very true! Child’s interest is the most important thing. If we pressurize the child to choose a specific board, she/he may lose interest in studies and get depressed. Much needed post! And you explained all the negatives & positives of each board in detail. Highly informational.

Preetjyot Kaur · September 12, 2019 at 8:38 pm

I often come across parents who always end up getting confused about which board to choose for their children. This is such a helpful post. Sharing it with my friends.

Asfa · September 12, 2019 at 11:09 pm

Such a grt topic, even I was not convinced to admit my kids in ssc.
#millennialscribbler #myfriendalexa

little Duniya · September 13, 2019 at 12:37 am

This is a very important toWe had a very few options, hence the job was easy. Now it is too much too to choose the right board as per child’s interest

Matheikal · September 13, 2019 at 9:48 am

Very informative and useful information.

Menaka Bharathi · September 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm

A never ending discussion, I have been doing this when my kids were younger, now after a decade seeing the same discussion seems that people are still confused. I have come to understand that any board is good for the kid as long as you as a parent are ready to spend time with the kid while he is studying

Shubhra Rastogi · September 13, 2019 at 1:34 pm

It is indeed very difficult to opt for a board for a child. However, I feel that if a child is comfortable with a particular teaching pedagogy then they must be allowed to follow the same rather than just changing their board which may land them in confusion. #MyFriendAlexa #ShubhraReads

Anita Singh · September 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm

Maine aur choti bitiya ne CBSC se studies ki hai,
Kyunki main Delhi se hu to state board ka sawal hi nahi hai aur mujhe CBSE pattern hi pasand bhi hai
Maje ki baat ICSE k bacche hume apne se chota samjhte thy 🤣🤣
Lakin haan ,ye bahut jaruri hai ki bacche ka interest kisme hai aur uska future kya hai yehi samjh kar hi faisla lena chaiye, kyunki ab to family me har koi educated hai 😊

arv! · September 13, 2019 at 7:12 pm

I have never bothered to sit and compare both methods but a lot of parents feel ICSE is a better board to choose. I guess one needs to consider many points before arriving at conclusion.

Shweta · September 13, 2019 at 10:22 pm

The opinion varies from person to person. As someone who was educated in the ICSE (till 10th) and ISC (till 12th) stream, I’m naturally a bit biased. But I fully credit my command over the English language, fluency, pronunciation and oratory skills to the years I was made to struggle with English grammar and its nuances. English was one of favourite subjects because I got to read books under the pretense of studying! 🙂

    gleefulblogger · September 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    That’s really nice, thank you for sharing your feedback.

Archana Srivastava · September 14, 2019 at 12:16 am

So informative post, while I was running my coaching institute in Pune ,selection between ICSE and CBSE is the most confusing and disturbing question I struggled a lot, on which I am pretty sure and contented with my thoughts and points but parents with whom I dealt with, never get satisfied easily.Very well said by you it’s all something basically depends on our kid’s interest ,ability,stamina and all.Thanks for sharing detailed post.

Archana Srivastava · September 14, 2019 at 12:18 am

So informative post, while I was running my coaching institute in Pune ,selection between ICSE and CBSE is the most confusing and disturbing question I struggled a lot, on which I am pretty sure and contented with my thoughts and points but parents with whom I dealt with, never get satisfied easily.Very well said by you it’s all something basically depends on our kid’s interest ,ability,stamina and all.Thanks for sharing detailed one.

Rohan Kachalia · September 14, 2019 at 1:52 pm

This is an in-depth post answering most of the questions parents have when it comes to their Ward’s schooling. However it is important to ensure the dreams are allowed to fulfill and not squashed away.

Judy Morris · September 15, 2019 at 1:42 am

This reminds me of those days when we too were faced with the difficulty of choosing between these two boards. Though we picked the conventional CBSE but There are pros of both systems.

Pr@Gun · September 15, 2019 at 3:23 pm

This year in the month of April I was faced with this dilemma due to hubby’s transfer. My kiddo had done CBSE till 4th and till 8th the icse and then came to this question for next grade. My kiddo himself help me resolve as he has improved big time being in icse academically, my average boy started to shine bright and within 6 months is new school started coming in top 5. But he was not stressed for studies, somehow teachers and school helped him reach there. Study material is more in-depth in ICSE but chose it only if you feel your kid can handle it, no pressure should be there. I may switch in higher classes not sure now… but yes there are pros and cons of both.

Vashi · September 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

This topic is often a bone of contention in many a households where kids are the age to face schooling; very aptly summed the pros & cons of all the boards and indeed eventually we should let the kids decide what they want

Isha D. · September 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm

Completely agree with your point about all this depending on the child’s ability.

Disha · September 16, 2019 at 1:28 am

Being an ICSE student, I find it easier and relatable. But, yes we should always take child’s interest into consideration.

sonia dogra · September 16, 2019 at 7:45 pm

This is such an inevitable question and you have covered all the details so well. Thank you!

Mayura Amarkant · September 17, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Your post will help so many parents! Thank you for writing this! Keep writing such informative posts. #MyFriendAlexa #DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter

    gleefulblogger · September 17, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you so much for liking it and your feedback.

Sajid Akhter · September 18, 2019 at 9:56 pm

This is such an important post. This is very informative and helpful. Personally I like ICSE though I wouldn’t like to force my views on my kids.
Thanks for sharing it.

Upasana #pahadimomlogger · September 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Such a big topic these days at my place as we have to work for his proper schooling. Thankyou for sharing this and i would really work better.

    gleefulblogger · September 19, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Thank You, Upasana. Glad you could connect

Preeti Negi · September 20, 2019 at 5:25 pm

Times have changed and so have the priorities. During our childhood, it was mostly CBSE or ICSE schools but with the passage of time people have started giving chances to other educational boards. I studied in a CBSE board but taught the ICSE board as a teacher for a few years. Now, of my kid is in IB. In a way, I have a taste of these 3 prominent boards available in India. Which one is good and which isn’t should never be the question. Which board helps in bringing out the true potential of a child should be our main concern as a parent.
#readbypreetispanorama for #MyFriendAlexa

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