Schooling

Know Your School Boards (Part 1/5) – Introduction

In a 5-part series, we get an expert education and career counsellor, Sheetal Multani, to provide you information that will help you to decode the nuances of some of the popular school boards in Mumbai – ICSE, CIE and IB. 

Each part details information on a group of grades – Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary – so you can easily look at what is relevant for you. Each article also carries related FAQs, making this series everything you need to answer all the questions you may have on an education board.

In Know Your School Board – Part 1, we start with an Introduction to the various school boards.

 

FAQ’s

Q. 1.  Is International education only for students who want to pursue further studies abroad?
A.1.   No!!! International Education is for one and all. In this era of globalization, every student has the opportunity to be at par with students all over the world. It’s amazing that today; schools in India can provide the same education as what is available in the UK, US and several other foreign countries. In fact, if we look at Indian boards, we see that there is a lot of regional discrepancy in the popularity of boards. For example, in Maharashtra, ICSE is a popular curriculum, with very few schools following the CBSE curriculum. On the other side, schools in North India are mostly affiliated to CBSE. This makes it difficult for students whose parents need to relocate even within India. However, international boards are gaining presence slowly and steadily over all states in India. In addition, International Board exams declare country toppers and World toppers in each subject. It’s great when students compete at the global level.
Students who wish to continue in India for their under graduate studies post IBDP/A levels
–  can give IGCSE October / November exams for local college admissions, results of which will be declared in February following year. So they have their results before they Junior Colleges start their admission process in June. 
– can do various International Undergraduate Programmes offered by Indian Schools too. E.g. London School of Economics program– offered by Russell Square International College (established by Ecole Mondiale world school), international programs offered by the Podar World College, N.M College. Under these International under Graduate Programmes, students study in India for 2 years and go abroad in their final 3rd year. These are just to list a few.
Around 40% of Indian students who study IBDP stay back and continue their studies in Indian colleges.

Q. 2. Are International Boards easier than ICSE?
A 2. ICSE board is more content and knowledge driven as compared to the international boards which are more skill and concept driven. The vast syllabus of ICSE, which includes compulsory languages, math, 2 papers of social studies (History and Geography), 3 papers of sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) makes ICSE more cumbersome for students. In comparison, International boards offer a vast choice of subjects. In addition, in any subject, a student can choose a higher level or standard level according to his/her competency in that subject. This gives the student an opportunity to pursue the subject and gain knowledge, even though it might be his/her weak area. Also, in the primary years, International Education emphasises only on key subjects like English, math and science with no burden of doing additional subjects.
On the flip side, ICSE or CBSE students are better adapted at cracking Medicine and Engineering entrance exams in India as they have a deeper knowledge of all 3 sciences and Math. However, in international boards, students have to choose any one subject from each subject area, which means any one science out of 3 sciences. Each board has its pros and cons depending on what is suitable for “your” child.

Q. 3. Pure IB schools in India are opting for direct progression from MYP to IBDP. Is it true?
A.3. We see this shift coming up in the near future where by a student in a Pure IB Board school can have a smooth progression from MYP to IBDP Programme. The MYP is open to any student aged 11 to 16 at schools that have been authorized to implement the programme. The MYP is a five-year programme, which can be implemented in partnership between schools, or in several abbreviated (two, three or four year) formats. Students who complete the MYP are well-prepared to undertake the IBDP. In the final year of the programme, optional MYP e-Assessment provides IB-validated grades based on examinations and course work.  Students who undertake external assessment are eligible for MYP course results and the IB MYP Certificate. However, this is not equivalent to a board exam, like the IGCSE, ICSE or CBSE Board exam. A student who pursues MYP has to continue to doing IBDP. He/she cannot switch to a state board (HSC) or national board (ISC) or ‘A’ levels. 
Note: – Most of the established IB schools in India are still following the MYP for 3 years followed with IGCSE.

Q. 4. What is the key difference between both International boards that is CIE Board and IB Board?
A.4. Both CIE and IB boards are accepted at par in all Universities abroad. The key difference between the two is that CIE board offers IGCSE and ‘A’ Levels which are stream and subject specific programmes. English is the only compulsory language in the CIE Board. Being a stream and subject specific programme it’s more focused on a specific line of study. 
e.g. 1. )  If a student wants to take up medical career, he/she needs to study Physics Chemistry and Biology.
e.g. 2. ) If a student wants to do Engineering or architecture or become a pilot he/she needs to study Physics Chemistry (for Engineering) and Mathematics. 
e.g. 3. ) If a student wants to study Commerce, Chartered Accountancy, BMS, BMM and BBA he/she needs to study Business Studies, Accounts Economics or Art and Graphics (BMM). 
e.g. 4. ) If a student wants to pursue liberal arts, humanities, Psychology so he/she will have to study Business studies, Art and Design psychology or English Literature.
However, in IBDP, a student needs to do one subject from each of the 6 streams – Language & Literature, Language acquisition (second language), Individual and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics and Arts. In addition, there is the Core which comprises the Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and Creativity, Action and Service. There IBDP is academically more vast than the ‘A’ Levels where students covers all streams. This later gives them an option to choose any field they wish to science, commerce or arts.

DISCLAIMER:
THE ABOVE DATA WAS COMPILED AND COMPELETED ON THE 8TH DAY OF AUGUST 2016. THIS IS JUST A GENERAL OVERVIEW OF ALL 3 BOARDS PUT TOGETHER FOR ASPIRING PARENTS AND STUDENTS BY THE WRITER TO THE BEST OF HER KNOWLEDGE. TO GAIN BETTER KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING EACH STUDENT AND PARENT SHOULD KINDLY REFER TO THE ADMISSION DIRECTORS / TUTORS AT THEIR RESPECTIVE ASPIRING SCHOOLS. THE WRITER CANNOT BE CHALLENGED FOR ANY CONTRADICTORY OPINIONS. THE DATA IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE FROM US.

About The Author

Sheetal Multani

Sheetal is an MBA in Marketing from the prestigious Symbiosis University in Pune. She has 15 years of work experience in the Education Industry where she has worked in various roles - teacher, admission tutor, coordinator and career guidance counselor - with some of Mumbai's leading pre-schools and international schools. She now works as an independent education and career counselor, staying in touch with the latest developments through certified counselor training programmes of various international universities She can be contacted on sheetalmultani@yahoo.com for any further queries you may have

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