How do you select the right education board for your child?
Professor Ritika Mahajan shares the findings of a survey she conducted in Jaipur and NCR to help parents pick ‘the right’ choice.
The survey was based on the following parameters:
Structurally, CBSE, ICSE, and the state boards follow the Class I-XII pattern. IB has the primary-years, middle-years, and diploma programmes comparable to class I-V, VI-X, and XI-XII, respectively.
1. Age for admission
On average, at the primary level, the boards offer six to eight subjects, including English, Sciences, Physical Education, Arts and a Second Language.
IB and Cambridge provide additional courses like yoga and stretching, digital literacy, music, and students’ engagement in creativity. Waldorf, along with basic subjects, provides exposure to theatre, movements, recorder and handwork.
For assessment, CBSE, ICSE, and State boards employ a combination of written tests, projects, and viva.
Cambridge supports written, oral, coursework and practical evaluation whereas Waldorf follows child-centric learning, and there is scope to modify the pace to suit each child.
Unschooling and homeschooling parents may opt for open-board examinations.
The cost of education is an essential factor affecting school choice.
The international boards are relatively expensive. On average, a centrally-located CBSE school in Jaipur charges nearly INR 75,000 per annum for Class I, Waldorf around INR 1.25 lakh, and an IB school almost INR 2.5 lakh.
In the case of students with ADHD, IB shall be more appropriate at initial levels. But when there is little scope for modifying the pace of learning in a system, the school unintentionally admits students with similar abilities or needs.
5. Diversity and inclusion
In a school, the learning pace is similar because everyone moves together, unlike homeschooling or unschooling, where it is a conscious decision to not enroll a child in a regular school.
6. Pace of learning
Homeschooling or unschooling is illegal in countries like Germany, Greece, Greenland, Turkey, and Iran. Apart from that, all the boards are internationally recognised, with a presence in several countries.
Each board has its advantages and disadvantages. Other than affordability, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, the overall philosophy, culture and relationships are also significant.
On a final note, the choice of school must rest with the child — parents may facilitate accessibility.
(This story was written by Professor Ritika Mahajan)