Urban Schools Ditch State Syllabus for CBSE and ICSE
A number of city schools in Kolkata have switched to CBSE and ICSE recently. They have opted out of state syllabus due to the general belief that it would help students crack national-level entrance exams easily.
The school authorities say that parental pressure has driven the schools to take the step. The trend seems to grow with time since many of the best schools in the city that include Gokhale Memorial Girls' school, Shri Shikshayatan and several Techno India schools switched to CBSE in the past one year.
Many parents are demanding the change in curriculum not just because they want the students to crack the national level entrance exams. It is also because they understand the pressure they had to go through with the state board while they were students. Being former state board students, the parents had already dealt with the pressure of change in class X and Class XI syllabi and they do not want their children to go through that.
According to Amiya Kr Maity, director of the Dr Maity Educational and Medical Research Institute, the trend had started right from when the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) was introduced by CBSE in 2013. Majority of the topics to be studied for the exam came from CBSSE syllabus itself. Therefore, the belief started to spread that sticking to CBSE curriculum can benefit students who aspire for a medical or engineering career. The Supreme Court had cancelled NEET. But, by the time, most schools following the state syllabus had shifted to CBSE.
At least seven Techno Schools have gone for CBSE recently. School coordinator Rasna Kar Chaudhuri said that the decision to switch to CBSE was taken in 2009 and they got affiliation in 2014. The first batch will pass in 2015. The schools have separate HS board branch and classes XI to XII are still waiting to be affiliated. But, number of students opting for HS is very less. Majority of them are going for CBSE.
Rasna Kar Chaudhuri also explained the differences between HS and CBSE boards. She said that in HS syllabus, Class X has separate papers for physical sciences, chemistry, life science, etc. However, in CBSE, social science includes history and geography and science covers physics, chemistry and biology subjects. Also, the written tests are for 90 marks and students are assessed throughout the year. They follow the process called continuous and comprehensive evaluation.
Indus Valley World School was started in 2008. They planned to switch to CBSE after a market survey revealed that CBSE is the mostly sought syllabus. Also, Gokhale Memorial Girls' School principal Indrani Mitra said that nowadays people hardly opt for West Bengal board. South Point High School had earned their reputation while they followed state board. But they were forced to switch to CBSE owing to the demands of parents. HS Board syllabus still prevails in South Point. But, by 2018, they will be moving to the New Town campus, where it will be 100% CBSE.
According to a school education department official, the practice of getting marks depending on the length of the answers no more exists. More focus is given on objective and analytical parts. Students have to study each chapter thoroughly than mugging up.
The question patterns have also changed. There are now objective multiple choice questions and project work is given priority. The school education department official also stated that the shift from state board to CBSE is essential as it will help students to crack JEE and national exams.