Frequently Asked Questions

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is the apex body for curriculum related matters for school education in India. The NCERT provides support and technical assistance to a number of schools in India and oversees many aspects of enforcement of education policies. The various curriculum bodies governing school education system in India are:

  1. The State Government boards. There are 33 recognized state boards in India.
  2. The All-India boards i.e. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CICSE) board that conducts ICSE and ISC examinations, The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board.
  3. International schools affiliated to the International Baccalaureate Programme and/or the Cambridge International Examinations.
  4. Islamic Madrasah schools, whose boards are controlled by local state governments, or autonomous, or affiliated with Darul Uloom Deoband.
  5. Autonomous schools like Woodstock School, Auroville, Patha Bhavan and Ananda Marga Gurukula.
  1. CBSE board is an All India board of education, under the Union Government Of India. The board conducts annual All India examinations for Class 10 and 12. CISCE is a private, non-governmental board of school education in India. CISCE conducts All India examinations for Class 10 (ICSE) and Class 12 ( ISC)
  2. The medium of instruction in CBSE is both English and Hindi. ICSE/ISC affiliated schools offer only English medium education.
  3. The CBSE board conducts all India exams for admission to undergraduate courses in engineering (AIEEE) and medical (AIPMT), the CBSE syllabus conforms to most of the competitive examinations in India .
  4. The ICSE/ISC curriculum focuses a lot on English language and literature proficiency as compared to CBSE. In the long run CISCE could be suitable for students aspiring for GRE, TOEFL, GMAT examinations.
  5. Though at a broad level the syllabus for both CBSE and ICSE is similar, the exam pattern is different in ICSE as compared to CBSE. e.g. for science ICSE conducts 3 written exams, whereas CBSE has only one exam
  6. Off late CBSE board has been actively participating in reforms in examinations and evaluation practices. This is a step forward in reducing stress level among the students of India. CISCE board has not yet come up with any such modifications in the exam pattern.

     More details can be found in the article CBSE or ICSE, What is the difference?

International Schools promotes international education with International standards.

These school follows either International Baccalaureate(IB) or Cambridge International Examinations(CIE). These schools cater the needs of those parents who have to frequently travel across the globe. This kind of education helps their children to have continuity in studies while relocating to another country. International schools provide an opportunity to develop cross-cultural understanding, an international outlook and an ability to build quality relationships with people from very different backgrounds and creeds. A good international school will have both students and faculty from mixed cultures and society.

In India, most International schools follow a combination of International Baccalaureate(IB) and IGCSE(developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations).

  • International Baccalaureate consists of 3 different stages such as:
  1. Primary Year Program (PYP) for children of age group 3-11 years old, which includes subjects such as language, arts, science, technology, mathematics and social science.
  2. Middle Year Program(MYP) for children of age group 11-16 years old, which includes subject areas such as Language A( Medium of instruction in school), Language B(Any Non-native language for the student), humanities, science, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology.
  3. Diploma Program: This is a two year program for students of age group 16-19 years. This is a globally recognized programme by universities across the world.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is a provider of international qualifications for students between the ages of 14 and 19. The qualifications includes-
  1. A-level (Advanced Level)
  2. O-level( Ordinary Level)
  3. Cambridge IGCSE(International General Certificate on secondary Education)
  4. Cambridge Pre-U.

IGCSE is an international alternative to many popular national curriculam. IGCSE certification has to be taken for each subject studied during the course. Common subjects that are taken during the course are First Language, Second language, Science and Mathematics. IGCSE prepares the students for further A Level studies and other equivalent programme. IGCSE allows teaching to be placed in a localized context, making it relevant in different regions.

Enrolling in an International school, gives a student an international exposure. Many international schools, run bi-lingual programmes, and offer language support for non-native speakers.The student can learn a range of languages and become truly multilingual.

An international school has students from different nationality, hence the students are exposed to people with different cultures at an early stage.

In terms of infrastructure and facilities, international schools tend to have an edge over regular schools.

International school requires faculty to be trained specifically for an international syllabus or for teaching a foreign language Most of the international schools also provide extra-curricular facilities of international standards like swimming pool, horse riding, residential hostels etc. These facilities are usually not provided in regular schools, hence the fee structure of International Schools are considerably high when compared to regular schools.

Montessori system doesn’t follow the traditional class room method of teaching. Montessori system works on the principle of letting the child learn by herself rather being taught, which happens in a traditional pre-school.

Another difference is, Montessori system does not have the concept of classroom, there will be children of different age groups learning together in one environment.Unlike traditional methods of teaching, in Montessori system each child is allowed to work on the activities they are interested in and learn at his / her pace.

As compared to traditional class rooms, the student teacher ratio is less in Montessori schools.

More details can be found in the article Montessori Method.

There are specific requirements for schools to be categorized as Montessori school. Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) is the international governing body for Montessori affiliated schools. Indian Montessori Council (IMC) functions under AMI. In India, IMC governs the affiliation and training for Montessori schools.IMC conducts workshops and seminars for training, knowledge sharing and enhancement for Montessori teachers. An IMC affiliated Montessori teacher must have a Montessori diploma. The list of schools having membership in IMC can be found here.  Parents considering placing a child in a Montessori school should ask about the school's affiliation(s).

More details can be found in the article Montessori Method.

Montessori has been designed for children from 3 months to 16 years.

  1. Montessori infant/toddler program is available for children from 3 months – 3years.
  2. Montessori pre schools take children of age group 2.5 years to 6 years. (This is the most common Montessori program in India)
  3. Elementary Montessori schools provide education for 6 years-12 years.
  4. Erdkinder is adolescent Montessori education for children of age group 12-16 years.

More details can be found in the article Montessori Method.