Archive | January 8, 2013

Indian school syllabuses

ETA: Just now read LLT’s latest post. What a coincidence.. Sailing in the same boat as her 😦 

I have been analyzing about the school syllabuses followed at India for a while now. No, there is no concrete plan about R2I yet but isn’t it better to analyze ahead.

So far it looks like there are IB, IGCSE, ICSE, CBSE, Matric and state board syllabuses.

I am interested in knowing more about the pros and cons of CBSE vs ICSE vs IGCSE syllabuses.  Below are the details I have collated so far.


1. Helps if the child plans to take standardized entrance exams for professional courses at India as the exam patterns are based on CBSE syllabus.
2. Relatively easy.
3. Conceptual learning is not as intensive as other syllabuses.
4. Focus on English is comparatively less.
5. Less expensive
6. More focus on second language (Hindi, French)


I couldn’t clearly identify the difference between these syllabuses except that IGCSE follows the curriculum set by Cambridge university at UK –

1.  Internationally recognized. I guess child will be able to pursue under grad outside India without preliminary exams.
2. Relatively tough with more projects and practical/conceptual learning.
3. The curriculum is 1 or 2 grades higher than CBSE. Like whatever an IGCSE child learns in 6th grade will be learned by a CBSE child in 7th or 8th grade.
4. Focus on second language depends on the school.
5. English standard is high.
6. Easier to switch to CBSE later as curriculum is less challenging in CBSE.
7. Expensive.

I am now at an even more confused state with all these analysis.  I understand that its better to consider other factors too like

1. distance of school from home (keep it as minimum as possible)
2. school atmosphere (should be friendly and encouraging to the child)
3. parents vs teachers communication (should not be restricted)

As LLT rightly said “How can I decide about the 10th or 12th grade now when I have no clue about how the primary education is going to be? when I have no clue about what stream the child will develop interest upon?”

Looks like its not very easy to switch schools often at India (owe it to the so called capitation and other non-refundable hefty fees). After all we are not millionaires or billionaires 😦

So, assume you have few schools in your list that you are happy with based on above factors but each of them is following different syllabus. Which syllabus would you choose? Your suggestions please..

Help me to save some hair 😦 😦