With the admission season starting soon, parents are scouting for schools that would bring out the best in their budding Einsteins.
Selecting the best high school in Gurgaon is no mean feat due to the wide array of schools available. Some of the essential parameters that parents, usually, keep in mind when choosing a school areacademic reputation of the school, the fee structure, exposure of its students to various resources, extracurricular activities, medium of instruction, method of instruction and infrastructure and facilities. But one vital aspect of selection of schools is often ignored, it is the board of education to which the school is affiliated.
Most schools in India are affiliated to 3 major boards namely
- Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
- Council for Indian School Certificate Examination(CISCE) that controls the Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination (ICSE)
- State Boards
Of these the CBSE and ICSE boards are more popular among parents as their standards of education are considered to behigher than State boards. Also, CBSE and ICSE boards have a universal curriculum and method of assessment that applies to schools affiliated to them all over the country, unlike State boards, who’s curriculum and assessment practises vary from sate to state.
ICSE is basically a remnantof the IGCSE, the educational board affiliated to Cambridge University, that was followed during the time of British rule in India.The board still retains its essential features, but it has incorporated a lot of methods from the more indigenous CBSE board which is designed and controlled by the National Council for Educational Research and Training(NCERT).A major plus point for the board is that it is recognised by many foreign educational institutions due to its association with IGCSE.
While it totally a parent’s call about which board to choose for their ward’s education, there are a few areas, in the opinion of educational experts, where ICSE board trumps CBSE. This article highlights some of the main areas where ICSE schools score better than their CBSE counterparts. Watch this space for more info regarding the pros and cons of both boards of education.
Structure of ICSE
The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education board is structurally a cross between the British IGCSE and Indian CBSE. It takes the best of both boards and incorporates it in its structure. ICSE conducts 2 examinations, namely, ISCE (Indian Secondary Certificate Examination) in class 10 and the ISC( Indian Secondary Certificate) in class 12.
Affiliations and Assessment in ICSE
ICSE board follows a stricter policy regarding affiliations and assessments than its counterpart CBSE. While CBSE follows a fairly lenient policy regarding examinations(it allows student from both affiliated and non-affiliated schools to sit for its high school(AISSE) and intermediate(AISSCE) examinations), ICSE follows a stricter policy by allowing only students from its affiliated schools to take its examinations.
CISCE conducts two exams- Indian Certificate of Secondary Education(ICSE) in 10th and Indian chool Certificate(ISC) in class 12th.
Medium of Instruction
Having been a part of the Cambridge educational board, ICSE, naturally, focusses on the English language. Hence, English is the medium of instruction in all ICSE affiliated schools. CBSE, in comparison, also allows Hindi to be the medium of instruction in schools affiliated to it.
The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education(ICSE) is unique in terms of its syllabus. The syllabus followed by ICSE affiliated schools is very detail oriented, with special focus on the English language and literature. Students of schools affiliated to ICSE do better in international English language proficiency tests like TOEFL because of their in-depth knowledge of the language.
Since the syllabus is quite detailed, it requires its students to study extensively, and at the same time intensively. It is no surprise, that ICSE is considered to be one of the most demanding boards of education.
The ICSE board aims to be holistic in its approach to education, hence equal weight age is given to arts, science and math subjects. Here again, ICSE differs from CBSE where the main focus is on science and mathematics.
The board is more flexible in terms of the choices students get on reaching 9th and 11th standards. Many schools affiliated to ICSE offer offbeat subjects like Computer Science, Interior design and Social Science as options for combination courses! Also, taking maths is not compulsory for a student after 9th standard.
No wonder then, that the best humanities and languages students often come from schools affiliated to ICSE.
Unlike CBSE, where theoretical knowledge is considered satisfactory, ICSE puts emphasis on practical knowledge. Consequently, regular lab work is also aggregated in a student’s overall performance report in the ICSEcurriculum.
In keeping with the modern educational techniques, ICSE has made significant changes in its education system. The focus has been shifted from teacher centred instruction to student centred learning. The emphasis is on hands on learning, or learning through experience and experimentation.
Parents have a lot of wonderful choices if they are looking for the best high school in Gurgaon affiliated to ICSE. Some of these are Rishi Public School, Scottish High International School, Shikshantar Senior Secondary School.