The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, which conducts the ISC exams, will completely overhaul its syllabus and align it with that of the CBSE. The reason: to prevent post Class 10 migration to the latter, which conducts the all-India engineering and medical entrance exams.
In 2015-2016 academic session, for every 300 students who cleared the ISC exams, 100 chose CBSE schools for their class 12 board exams. In 2014, as many as 1,49,087 students took the ISC exam but 7,7018 students opted out of the board the same year, resulting in only 72,069 candidates taking the ISC exam in 2016.
“In order to convince students and parents that the syllabus of ISC and CBSE class 12 is the same, we have realigned our Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology syllabus with that of the CBSE. We were compelled to bring about this change. It comes into effect this new academic session and the ISC exam of 2018 will be conducted in according to this changed syllabus. The question pattern too would follow the CBSE,” said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations.
The Council of Boards of School Education in India (CBSE), a voluntary association of all the Boards of School Education in India, has drawn up a common curriculum for all the Indian school boards. This is presently being followed by all the school boards, including the CBSE and the CISCE.
“17 school boards, including CISCE and CBSE, follow this curriculum, still parents and students feel that CBSE gives aspiring doctors and engineers an advantage over ISC. Now, our realigned curriculum and question pattern for all the four subjects in class 11 and 12 will match the CBSE curriculum unit by unit, chapter by chapter,” Arathoon said.
The council has also directed teachers to follow the NCERT text books in class, as is done by CBSE schools. “We have asked schools to follow the NCERT text books as reference in class, while teaching from the text books recommended by us. We have also urged publishers to slim down the textbooks. This is because students and parents have a feeling that in ISC they have to study more than they do in CBSE. We want the parents to understand that we champion stress-free joyful learning, so the text books will be slimed down soon,” Arathoon said.
The CISCE said it is also in the process of preparing special study material for students aiming to crack NEET and JEE (Main).
“Unlike CBSE schools, which allow coaching centres to merge their classes with school hours, we do not want our students to go to any coaching centre to crack the all-India medical or engineering entrance exam. That is the reason we are preparing special study materials for them. It will be ready soon,” Arathoon added.
For the first time, the CISCE is revamping the entire syllabus, right from primary to class 8. “This syllabus will come into effect from 2017 and all the schools affiliated with us will have to follow it. This will help our students get the orientation of CISCE,” said Arathoon.
Nabarun Dey, spokesperson of the Association of Schools for the Indian School Certificate said they would urge the HRD ministry to consider conducting the all-India entrance exam by an independent body to ensure equal competition.
“Since the medical and engineering all-India entrance exam is held by the CBSE following its curriculum, students and parents are aiming for that board. We would be writing to the HRD ministry urging it to consider holding these exams by an independent body. This will ensure equal competition.”
The syllabus of commerce and humanities, currently being followed by the ISC, will remain the same. “The uniqueness of our board will be preserved in humanities and commerce streams. We must remember that not everyone wants to become doctors and engineers. There are several other upcoming professions. And we would continue to offer a bouquet of choices across streams to our students,” Arathoon said.
* In order to stop aspiring engineers and doctors from migrating to CBSE, the ISC syllabus will now mirror CBSE.
* Since CBSE is conducting the all-India entrance exam for medical and engineering, 100 out of every 300 ICSE pass outs are opting for CBSE schools instead of ISC.
* The ISC syllabus for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics will now replicate the CBSE syllabus of class 11 and 12.
* The new syllabus will follow CBSE unit by unit, chapter by chapter.
* The question pattern of ISC too, would follow CBSE.
*The new syllabus will come into effect from 2017 and the ISC exam would be conducted on the new syllabus from 2018
*Besides following ISC books teachers have been asked to follow NCERT textbooks in class as done by CBSE.
*The council is also in the process of preparing study materials for studnets aiming to take medical and engineering entrance exams.
*The council is also formulating syllabus from primary to class 8, which would be mandatory for all the ICSE schools to follow from 2017.
* This is done to ensure that students get aligned to the ICSE curriculum from an early age and do not leave the board in higher classes.
*The syllabus of humanities and commerce streams remain unchanged.