CBSE vs ICSE board of Education

5 replies, Page 1

lotus1 2020-11-10 14:24:02


Hello All,

What is the practical difference between CBSE and ICSE board of education? If I have to choose a board for my kid from LKG, which is better? 

I stay in Thoraipakkam and I have 2 options now - Sishya (ICSE) and HIS (CBSE). Both seem to have good coaching, infrastructure, etc. and the main difference is board of education. Could some parent help how did you decide the board of education for your kid? 

papabear 2020-11-11 13:27:25



ramya2020 had asked a similar question and I had posted a detailed analysis, I am reposting my reply below and you might find it interesting.

------repost with added comments on ICSE------------------

 Your question on syllabus caught my eye and it is good that you are analysing this aspect. 

Syllabus - CBSE is undoubtedly the leading Indian syllabus but this board is going through lot of change this year. Please Google and read about National Education Policy - NEP 2020 to know what is happening. In my opinion there are currently three major types of curriculum / syllabus / approach to teaching -

1. Inquiry based curriculum - International Baccalaureate (IB - from pre KG to grade 12), Waldorf (only KG's,) Reggio Emilia (only KG's), Montessori (upto middle school) all fall into this bracket, this system is definitely very progressive and inline with the future. This system, particularly IB starts with the premise that there is no single solution to any problem and really allows children the freedom to explore and identify many different possible answers. Many premium / Ivy League universities world wide currently give preference to students with an IB high school diploma. IB is your best bet if you are aiming at real learning for your child and have the ability to send your child to Ivy League universities in India & abroad. 

2.Knowledge based but blending some skill and Inquiry aspects- CBSE & UK Cambridge (also known as IGCSE) fall into this bracket, CBSE is definitely progressing but at a slow pace towards Inquiry method. It is interesting to note that CBSE itself is evolved from the UK system and the basics of CBSE seem to be rooted in the British way in the early years after our countries Independence. As such CBSE has started integrating application / Inquiry based questions into their question papers over the last 3-4 years, I have seen the transition reflected in the question papers that my older child has attended. CBSE is slowly transitioning towards the IB methodology, if you read NEP 2020 you will understand. The minus point is that with political interference, CBSE's pace of change is drastically slowed down. CBSE is your best bet if you are aiming at India's national exams for your Childs UG.

ICSE is similar to CBSE but with extremely heavy subject depth, for instance what you read in 11th std., Physics in CBSE is covered in 9th std in ICSE. You should opt for this board only if your child has serious interest in pursuing the subject in depth. A very small number of students opt for ICSE in INdia, so small that govt. of India has asked for justification for the existence of this board, please see wikipedia page on ICSE syllabus.

3. Only knowledge based system / also known as rote learning -  TN State board - samacheer kalvi, many regional state boards are still following this system. Also many schools such as Narayana, Chaitanya etc., still follow this method of teaching even though they may actually be offering CBSE syllabus. Unfortunately this system feels out of touch with todays changing world and believes in only testing students knowledge expecting mugged up answers. I will not opt for this system even if offered free.

The best time for admission in India in CBSE schools is between January middle to March middle. You will have to put in the effort and do your homework if you want a good CBSE school.

I have answered your question on school suggestions in the other thread.

Good luck with your search. 

lotus1 2020-11-12 15:01:43


Thanks PB for sharing your views. It really helps. 
'I have answered your question on school suggestions in the other thread.' -> can you share this thread? 

papabear 2020-11-13 11:05:26



I have copy pasted below for you.

------------------------reposted from other thread---------------------

Iam reposting a review I had posted last year for your benefits, I have added my comments about online learning during pandemic to my original text - 


Here is a list of schools in order of preference and my reviews, I evaluated them when I moved here a few years back. Please do not take my reviews at face value, do visit each school, put in the extra effort and do the research for your child.

1. Babaji Vidhyashram Senior Secondary - CBSE Affiliated - Air-conditioned with playground - This school was the the top pick as it met all my requirements such as good track record, good English speaking staff, modern curriculum, reasonable fee with value for money, large playground, hygienic toilets, pollution free location etc., I found getting admission here is tough but they have a very transparent process. This school has been having complete online classes all through Corona, with no break in the learning.

2. PSBB Millenium (near DLF) - CBSE Affiliated - Non A/C with playground - This school was my second option, it met most of my requirements such as good functional systems, good track record, medium sized playground, value for money fee etc., It did not meet my expectations on hygienic toilets, pollution free location etc., I found getting admission here is tough but their process is not transparent OR friendly. This school initially struggled with online classes but has stabilised recently.

3. Ramana Vidyalaya - CBSE Affiliated - Non A/C with playground - This school was not in my list but I visited to evaluate. English speaking staff quality was average, no. of children in the classroom was high, some parents told me hygiene was a problem. I decided not to pursue admission. This school has not been able to transition to online teaching effectively till now.

4. Sacred Heart - Not affiliated - Non A/C No proper teachers, the school seems to confuse between matriculation & CBSE, English is a major problem, hygiene is a problem. No online learning effectively.

5. Barathi Vidyalaya - CBSE affiliated - Non A/C without playground - It is one of the oldest schools in this locality, however the curriculum and methodology is not up to date, when I visited I found that hygiene in the toilets is a major problem. English was a problem. No online learning effectively

6. Narayana & Chaitanya - Non A/C without playground, affiliated - These schools are the least preferred in my list of reviews. They have no play facility and in this day and age pressurize students and parents like anything with very old style of teaching. Teachers are very poorly qualified and English is non existent. The funny part was that the fee changes from parent to parent and they quoted different figures when I spoke to them on two different occasions. No effective online learning.

7. St. Johns , Velammal - Both the schools seem to be under financial stress. Several teachers have quit it seems. No effective online learning.
Once again, please do your own research and do visit each school by yourself. Both my children study in Babaji Vidhyashram for the past 5 years.

Good luck.

Meena2014 2021-03-10 13:36:06


Hi Lotus Which school did you choose between Sishya and HIS? Im in a similar state where I need to decide whether to move to CBSE ? Sishya is a good school on academics , extra curriculars & Infra. Do you have feedback about HIS? Regards Meena.

vidhu01 2021-03-12 19:14:10


how is igcse compared to cbse?



All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2008-2022 Parentree