Choose the board that suits your child’s needs
Picking the right school for your child is a major decision but the entry of international boards has made it even more confusing, leaving parents spoilt for choice.
As if choosing between the state boards, the Indian Council of School Examination (ICSE) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) wasn’t tough enough, today, international ones such as International General School Certificate Examination (IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) board are additional options.
Often parents end up selecting a board based on popularity, rather than its suitability, say experts. The choice of boards, they say, should match the child’s learning needs, aspirations, and the family’s budget. “Parents need to understand whether the philosophy of the board matches their needs,’’ said a parent and teacher.
She added, “Despite teaching in an international school, I chose to admit my daughter in a CBSE school because I felt it’s the right fit for us.”
In contrast, such boards may put children at a disadvantage if they’re looking at pursuing medicine or engineering in India. Admissions to medical and engineering courses in India are based on national entrance exams.
“Parents need to understand the international curriculum, it’s goals and methodologies before signing on. It requires them to be mature in their approach,” said Rakhi Mukherjee, principal, Utpal Shanghvi School, Juhu.
On the other hand, international boards can be heavy on the pocket. Schools have to bear the expense of the training programme offered by the boards, which translates into higher fees.
Academicians also caution parents not to enroll IGSE students in tuitions. “The board is geared towards making the child self-reliant,’’ said Mukherjee.
Among the national boards, parents are increasingly opting for CBSE and ICSE over state boards. CBSE is preferable for parents in transferrable jobs. “For such parents, CBSE is ideal as the curriculum, languages and books are uniform across all the schools,’’ said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal of Rajhans Public School.