By Barnali Sen, HOD, English
I have come across parents standing at the crossroads of making a right decision when choosing the education board for their wards which in more ways than one, may affect their future. Being a parent myself, I too crossed the hurdles by weighing the pros and cons and taking the best of what the different boards had to offer. Having studied in an ICSE school and teaching for the last twenty years in CBSE schools and having taught the IGCSE curriculum as well, I have come to embrace the conceptual teaching-learning method of CBSE.
Yes, in terms of involvement, applicability and ease of learning, CBSE trumps over most boards of education. The curriculum is student-friendly and the methodology for teaching is facilitative to the Indian education system. The contents are well researched, the textbooks are constructed so that the students can understand the topics easily, and have a range of questions and activities between chapters to help students get a gist of what is being talked about. This makes way for more conceptual, sustainable education.
- Graded syllabus- CBSE board takes the help of NCERT research & curriculum so that their syllabus is well graded and doesn’t over burden students with unnecessary & easy-to-avoid topics. The social scientists of NCERT comes up with curriculum and books which are revered by the UPSC aspirants as they are complete, authentic and up-to-date. The assessment questionnaire is based on application of knowledge rather than rote method.
- Experimentation – CBSE keeps experimenting with new ideas like CCE, ASL, Analytical Comprehension. CCE was subsequently removed by the Board but the transition was smooth and was handled properly by the board. They dare to bring in new ideas. In these competitive times, gone are the days of mindless mugging up only to measure up to examinations! In contrast, CBSE promotes conceptual learning among the students of the board.
- Applicability- Board is teaching applicable curriculum. The English that is taught is what is commonly used in Offices & Professional places. Wide range of subjects are offered by the board so that students can take them based on their capability & interest in them for higher studies eg Applicable Mathematics, Commercial Arts etc. A student centric, applicable study methodology that is well graded and well researched to upgrade the analytical thinking power of children helps build a good foundation for further studies.
- Project based studies- The board doesn’t encourage the rote system of studies anymore and emphasises more on project and practical related studies. Every class and all subjects have compulsory Art Integrated projects whose marks are aggregated in the final tally of marks. Due to this approach, though this year schools are unable to offer practical classes to the students, the board has compensated it by emphasising project-oriented learning so that they can do certain experiments in the comforts of their own homes.
- Academic support- Plenty of support material is available online as well for all classes. This enables students to study on their own and makes learning easier. During these unprecedented days of life in quarantine, children and teachers under the CBSE Board are best equipped to conduct online classes smoothly as all texts are available online. It was a smooth shift from the physical classroom to the digital classroom.
- Development of Child- Board has made Physical Education & Sports mandatory for students whose marks will be aggregated to the final tally of marks. The board has District level, State level & National level sports meets amongst the CBSE schools to discover and hone talent in sports.
- Compassion- The board prohibits schools from differentiating between students and encourages them to admit students of all sections including differently abled ones. The board mandates to have special educators in the school to nurture the differently abled students. Students need to study Maths compulsorily till class-X but many of them have phobia of the subject. Keeping this in mind, the board has come up with an idea to provide Basis Maths to such students who are not going to pursue Maths in higher classes.
- Developing Resources: Keeping up with the times and constantly upgrading the Syllabi is more often seen in CBSE than any other board. Adequate training is given to the teachers and resource persons throughout the year. Even through this pandemic situation, multiple Webinars are taking place on a daily basis and it is mandatory for teachers to attend at least five/six Webinars per year.
- Competitive Advantage- Another aspect that plays an important role in selecting CBSE as the board for your child is the fact that the syllabus of NCERT is the foundation for the curriculum of CBSE. The entrance examinations for both medicine and engineering are based out of the CBSE syllabus, and the questions are derived from the topics covered in NCERT textbooks. This gives a competitive advantage to the students who want to pursue their future studies from top institutions, such as AIIMS and IIT/NIT.
- Transferability- Every city of India has CBSE schools which gives advantage to the families who keep relocating due to their work commitments.
Even as choosing the right board for your child is an important decision, it is only one aspect of the purpose of education. I do not profess that only the CBSE board is the best for your child as there are plenty of people who have been successful even after studying in different boards. As long as education imparted nurtures the mind and triggers the brain, helping children learn with vigour and purpose, the board we chose should finally serve the purpose of a long-term development of the child. If a child is nurtured well, he will bloom wherever he is planted.