Should you send your child to a CBSE, ICSE or State Board school?

In this article, I am discussing if a parent should send children to schools affiliated to CBSE, ICSE or State Board. They should wisely choose a school for their kids considering different factors such as intellegence level, interests, abilities, etc.

Every parent wishes their child would be successful in life. To direct themselves toward the pathway of success, they should build a strong foundation. A child should fruitfully impart knowledge and understand different concepts of life. If you send your child to a good school that provides quality education, then your child is molded into an enduring personality. Your child can attend schools that are affiliated with the State Board, CBSE, or ICSE. Many parents are unable to decide the type of board that is suitable for their child. We will be discussing the different types of boards in India of having certain features. Before selecting a suitable school for your child, you should consider different factors such as level of intelligence, interests, study pattern, commitment, etc.

CBSE or Central Board of Secondary Education

It is a national-level board in India, founded in 1929 and controlled by the Government of India. It is headquartered in Delhi and aims for academic excellence among students. The CBSE syllabus is precise, well-defined, and structured. The subjects are taught in a detailed manner. This board is useful to students preparing for competitive exams such as JEE, NEET, etc. They mainly emphasize theoretical concepts. The schools affiliated with the CBSE board assess the students in scholastic and non-scholastic areas. The scholastic area includes performance in periodic tests, unit tests, orals, projects, and subject enrichment in subjects such as science, mathematics, social science, and languages. Non-scholastic areas include personality assessment, general knowledge, reasoning skills, attitude, and values, etc. If your child is keen to study subjects in depth, then you can send him to a CBSE school. To acquire in-depth knowledge, the students should refer to more than one textbook. They can then score well in the examination. The questions appearing in the examination are often meant to test the logical reasoning level of the students. The CBSE board uses English and Hindi as the medium of instruction for the students.

ICSE board or Indian Certificate of Secondary Education

It is a popular board in India that was established in 1958 and is headquartered in New Delhi. The syllabus of ICSE is extensive, aiming to build the analytical skills of students. It mainly focuses on providing practical knowledge to the students. It gives equal importance to all the subjects, and the students can choose subjects in higher classes. In ICSE schools, internal assessment marks are valued greatly, and the results of practical exams are aggregated with the student's score in the examination. If you wish your child to become practical-oriented and understand every concept taught in every subject, then you can send your child to an ICSE school. But the students should study harder to learn the concepts of various subjects. The subjects are trained to develop problem-solving and analytical skills. The ICSE board uses only English as a medium of instruction.

State Board

The State Board is designed by the Board of Education of the State and differs from state to state. The syllabus of the State Board is comparatively easier than that of the other boards. The students can easily score good marks as they should just refer to the questions specified in the textbooks. The curriculum of the state board is simple, and the teachers can easily complete the syllabus within a specified period of time.


The ICSE board is considered the toughest board in India because it focuses on numerous subjects. So, the students should be willing to accept every subject as a challenge and crack the exams. If your child is interested in studying the subjects practically, then you can send him to an ICSE school. The CBSE board, on the other hand, provides theoretical and in-depth knowledge to students. If your child is keenly interested in studying subjects in depth or is planning to become a researcher, then you can send him or her to a CBSE school. You can simply send your child to schools affiliated with the State Board if he or she is not interested in studying so deeply. This board is suitable for students who want to pursue extracurricular activities apart from their studies. The syllabus is not extensive, so they can peruse their interests too.


Author: Geeta15 Apr 2023 Member Level: Silver   Points : 4

Choosing which type of school to send your child to, whether it's a CBSE, ICSE or State Board school, can be a difficult decision for parents. There are pros and cons to each type of school and the choice ultimately depends on the individual needs and preferences of the child and family.

CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) are both national boards of education in India, while State Board schools are run by the state government. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which type of school to choose:

1. Curriculum: CBSE and ICSE have a standardized curriculum that is followed by all affiliated schools, while State Board schools have their own curriculum that may vary from state to state. If you are planning to move frequently or if your child is likely to attend college outside of the state, a national board like CBSE or ICSE may be a better choice.

2. Teaching Methodology: CBSE and ICSE schools typically focus on a more application-based and practical approach to education, while State Board schools may have a more traditional approach.

3. Recognition: CBSE and ICSE are recognized by many universities and institutions across the country, while State Board schools may not have the same level of recognition. If your child is planning to pursue higher education, a national board may be a better choice.

4. Fees: The fees for CBSE, ICSE, and State Board schools can vary depending on the school and location. National board schools may be more expensive than State Board schools, but they may offer more resources and facilities.

It's important to research and compare different schools in your area and talk to other parents and educators to make an informed decision.

Author: Venkiteswaran19 Apr 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 15

Let me start with a disagreeing note with the author regarding the statement "You can simply send your child to schools affiliated with the State Board if he or she is not interested in studying so deeply". With this one stroke, the author has showed contempt towards State Boards of Education. That is a sweeping statement and is totally devoid of facts and is solely resting on author's personal bias and personal perception or misconception.

The syllabus of State Boards differ from State to State and will be based on the recommendation of that particular State curriculum board and the text book expert committee of that State. That will be based on the general overall guidelines of central government on education and also adapting to local conditions. The major variations will be in the language and history syllabus which will have more local flavour and focus. But the subjects like Maths, Science etc. will be more or less similar in its core levels and expectations with just minor differences of presentation and modulation.

The different boards are selected by parents/students based on various personal parameters and necessities mostly.
For those students whose parents are subject to periodical transfers in All India Services or public sector organizations or defence forces, it will be suitable to them to put their children in schools which have uniform syllabus all over India. Central Schools (Kendriya Vidyalayas) are, so, most suited. as they follow CBSE syllabus.

Myself, though, was working in public sector organisation and was subject to all-India transfer did not put my son in Kendriya Vidyalaya schools because they were far away from our residence and our working place and timings was not at all suited. So my son studied in State Board schools in two different states and he learned two state languages too. In fact that helped him a lot. I never considered syllabus as the basis but the proximity and convenience to reach the school when needed and for his daily commuting to and from school. Thank God, it really helped when the city in which we were residing was subjected to heavy floods and damages, as he could reach back home safely faster.

Some years ago, there were litigation and protests in a few states when the matching and balancing parity marks or weightage were given to some board syllabus students during admission to plus two class. There were cross migrations from one syllabus to another and mismatches occurred not only in equalizing the scores and weightage but also due to the different timings in conducting exams and declaring results.

If the parents are employed and residing in a particular State permanently, and if the student had his/her primary and upper primary education in local language medium and in local State syllabus, then it will be more suitable and beneficial to the student to continue in the State Board Schools. However if there are nearby schools with CBSE syllabus then it will be better to join that as it can give an initial convenience in case of higher education in other states.

For those students coming from financially difficult families, it is better to join State Board Schools because most of the schools are either by government or aided by government and without fees and even having facility of concessions, scholarships and grant aids. Of course CBSE schools also have such facilities.

This scribe had his education in State Board Schools, govt school too, and could get merit scholarship for his college education and had fist job in a premier scientific research institution of this country and then in an All India transferable public sector organisation. From my own experience and also having gone through different syllabus, I reaffirm my first sentence and state that State Board Syllabus students are not below anyone and they can equal or even excel students of other board syllabus too.

Author: Swati Sarnobat20 Apr 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

I am not stating the State Board education is vague. The syllabus is not very just extensive and not so detail oriented. If a student is not interested in deep studies does not mean a child is not clever or academically inclined. He or she may be interested in other activities. Every child is unique and special. But it is true that students studying in state board can create balance between studies and life than other boards. State Board is also unique as it is providing education to students from diverse backgrounds.

Guest Author: Bhavesh23 Jun 2023

Swatiji has tried to walk back on the impact of some of her initial comments. I support Shri Venkiteswaran in this regard. Please check the present syllabus of Maharashtra board. A child, in the right school, can excel in various languages. Even project workbook based method of teaching science and maths is very good. Things we learned in 8th standard are being taught today in 4th standard itself. Plus, the emphasis on local culture and history is unparalleled. Today most parents pay unnecessarily high fees because of the status created of schools in CBSE and ISCE board. Swatiji, I must opine that articles like this contribute to such glamour.

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