Differences Between CBSE and CBSE-I


    CBSE and CBSE-I are internationally recognized curriculums with several advantages. Both syllabi follow the NCF and NCERT framework but there are some key differences that one must understand.?

    The dictionary defines a curriculum as the subjects comprising a course of study in a school or college. Education systems differ in every country, and each uses their syllabus. A curriculum is developed using two models, the product and process models. The product model focuses on prioritizing grades, while the process model emphasizes the methods of imparting knowledge. A syllabus can be subject-centred, learner-centred, or problem-centred.

    A school can offer more than one curriculum depending on the student population and type of school. For example, in India, all schools are required to follow the CBSE curriculum, which is the national curriculum. However, some CBSE international schools like the Ahmedabad Global Indian International School can offer CBSE along with other curriculums such as the Montessori program. Additionally, in the year 2010, the CBSE board rolled out an international version of the CBSE syllabus and CBSE International (CBSE-I).

    CBSE International is an effort by the Central Board of Secondary Education to provide a global outlook on education for Indian students in the diaspora. Although the program is relatively new, the curriculum is already in use in over 200 schools in the middle ? east and south Asia combined. Keep in mind that CBSE-I follows the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), but it’s more flexible compared to CBSE.

    For a new parent understanding precisely what sets the two curriculums apart might be challenging. For example, at GIIS Ahmedabad, the CBSE curriculum is combined with the school’s award-winning 9GEMS framework. The 9GEMS framework is a holistic approach to education that encourages the physical, emotional, social and academic development of students which is similar to CBSE-I.

    So now that you have a general idea of both curriculums, let’s look at the main features of the two.

    CBSE curriculum

    • It was formed in 1962 and is the standard curriculum in India. 
    • It has three streams; sciences, humanities and commerce
    • It is available worldwide
    • It is based on the NCF and NCERT framework
    • Specializes in Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), project work, and board exams.
    • Offered to students from grade 1-12


    • Began in 2010
    • Consists of languages, arts (visual and performing), physical, education, social science, life skills, research projects, Core and elective sciences and mathematics. 
    • It is available worldwide
    • Emphasizes on global education, social empowerment and research orientation.
    • Specializes in CCE, life skills, research and Social Empowerment through Work Education and Action (SEWA)
    • Offered to students from grade 1-11

    Other essential features of the CBSE-I include

    • The course is offered online.
    • Students will learn through e-books and will have various syllabi for other subjects.
    • Annual registration fee is Rs 1.5 lakh which was proposed by the government.
    • Students who want to study abroad stand to benefit the most. 

    Now that you know the main features of both curriculums, you can tell that there are a few similarities. Many parents prefer the CBSE curriculum in India compared to others. This is because the syllabus is not very stressful for children. With a growing understanding among the people to create global citizens, CBSE International has become more coveted by students and parents alike. Additionally, with CBSE-I being offered internationally, it is easier for expatriate students to continue their education from where they left.

    What makes a good curriculum?

    1. Simplicity ? the subject matter or content of the curriculum should be broken down into doable parts. A complex curriculum can be challenging for both teachers and students to understand. 
    2. Clarity ? A curriculum should have clear learning expectations for all parties involved. Students’ assessment should also be outlined, and teachers must show expertise in the subject matter in the curriculum.
    3. Activities involved ? A good curriculum will incorporate practical exercises to aid in the learning process. Experts say that children retain more when they learn practically or implement what they have learned. Activities such as reading, listening, and many more must be integrated into the learning process. 
    4. Resources ? What are the primary resources needed for the curriculum to be effective. Are the teachers qualified and available? Is the proper infrastructure available, for example, science labs, and other learning materials. 

    One of the factors that determine the choice of the curriculum in a country is the learners themselves. India is home to some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and the education system aims to maintain that by improving the curriculum. Educators are beginning to understand that education is not all about academic intelligence. Students have to learn about other skills like social, emotional, and physical skills. Therefore, it has become a priority for academic experts to find a balance between academic skills and other life skills. That is why you will find most curricula taking the student-centred approach from early education to senior school.

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