Parents go through a tedious evaluation process before making the decision of choosing the school for their wards. The quality of teachers, support staff, security and facilities are basic parameters for parents in their search for the best school. Parents must have a thorough understanding of the different educational boards, as all of them follow a distinct curriculum. It also assists them as well as the students in choosing higher education.
The primary boards of school education in India are the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the different state boards. Some schools also follow the curriculum set by international boards such as International Baccalaureate (IB) and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGSCE).
Indian boards impart immense amount of information to the students:
The applicability of that information in real-life situations is not always understood by the students though. With the student-teacher ratio being much higher, the individual attention for the student is limited; the focus is more on year-end examinations. Under Indian boards, students are guided to choose a subject stream (Science, Commerce, Arts) after 10th standard, but some schools do give the students some flexibility with subject choice. In these circumstances students of a school that imbibes alternative learning mechanism are bound to do better than the others.
The international boards promote practical and application-based learning. Students can select a mix of subjects in grades 11th and 12th. These boards are not only meant for students who want to go abroad for higher education but also for students who decide to stay in India for higher education. The CIE board has changed their exam schedule to suit the admissions process of Indian colleges. The IB board gives predictive scores, which are accepted by all the top colleges in India.
The syllabi of all boards:
Indian or International, are similar but the delivery and pedagogy differ significantly. For example, integration of subjects through project based experiential learning. A strong emphasis on the importance of the “joy of learning” with focus on language enrichment, numeracy and general awareness is required. Physical activity should be mandatory. Qualities such as attention span, perseverance, concentration and problem solving needs to be developed. This would further enable in an investigation-based, application-oriented learning in the later stages wherein the students develop critical thinking and research skills.
With a well laid-out project-based learning system, students constantly, keep their curiosity and inquiry alive. The focus is not on the amount of knowledge gained, but on how to gather the knowledge and how to apply it. Learning is relatively stress-free with continuous evaluations in every subject.