CBSE or IB ?

India has primarily 4 boards of school education, which are CBSE, ICSE, State boards and IB.

In the field of education, we often encounter a term ’CURRICULUM’ which is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur during the process of learning. The curriculum can be referred to as a planned set of instructions, content, skills, materials and resources to enhance students’ understanding of the concepts and the processes to evaluate the attainment of educational objectives. This not only includes the scholastic aspect of learning but also includes the co-scholastic aspect of learning.

Every educational board is set up from the perspective of bringing out the best in each student by enhancing their skills, knowledge and understanding. 

The boards that are gaining popularity in India and outside are CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and IB boards.


Central board of secondary education (CBSE) is the most popular school board in India with over 20,000 CBSE affiliated schools in the country and presence in 21 nations across the globe.  With the revised curriculum and pedagogy, the focus in this board is on STEM (Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).  The benefits of going for a CBSE affiliated school are

  • Easy to find new schools in any area, due to the wide prevalence of the board
  • Wide recognition of board results across all colleges in India, as compared to other boards
  • The recent overhaul of teaching approach and curriculum has made the content relevant and application-based.
  • Caters to accommodations for differently-abled students, making Inclusive Education possible
  • Focuses on content, skill and services as an integral part of the curriculum to make students’ learning impactful.
  • Seva component in CBSE inculcates the values of giving back to the society we belong to. This component helps the students to value everyone’s perspectives and help develop society in a constructive manner.
  • Life Skills programme aims to mobilise a behaviour development approach through adequate delivery of content addressing knowledge, attitudes and value-enhanced Life Skills.


International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation that was founded in 1968 and now works with over 5000 schools in 156 countries headquartered in Geneva.  The board is gaining prevalence in progressive new schools in India. Currently limited to the metro and large Tier-I cities in India. As per them, their vision is on all-round development of the student into an inquiring, caring and knowledgeable young individual. IB offers an innovative learning program and teaching approaches to achieve its stated objective. The main benefits of this are

  • A primary focus is laid on inquiry-based learning and approaches to teaching, which majorly emphasizes the skills required by a learner.
  • The curriculum is designed keeping Bloom’s Taxonomy as a base, which incorporates systematic approaches to learning – teaching methodology. Command Terms are derived from Bloom’s taxonomy that plays an integral part of teaching-learning curriculum.
  • Curriculum and pedagogy focuses on STEM (Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics).  The global contexts and the key concepts support interdisciplinary learning by helping teachers and students to make connections between disciplines.
  • Focus on all-round development rather than pure academic performance
  • Wide acceptance across the world 
  • Services as Action in Middle School and CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) component inculcate the attitude of giving back to the society we belong to. IB attributes play an important role by emphasizing values and attitudes in students as individuals.
  • Emphasizes student-centred learning 
  • Social and emotional learning (SEL) in IB aims to raise awareness about the need for attention to the emotional dimensions of teaching and learning. It offers a collection of information and examples of practice to promote the development of more positive emotional environments and caring communities in classrooms and schools. The well being of teachers and students depends on such learning environments, and the IB believes that such an educational experience is the foundation of a better, more peaceful world.

      With the pace with which the education system is changing the paradigm of learning is aimed to make students equipped with knowledge and skills to become lifelong learners and to contribute meaningfully as global leaders. As parents making the choice of the board is very important in deciding the future prospects of the child. IB or CBSE, a parent must always keep the child’s learning style, environmental factors and approach of the curriculum in mind before deciding the same.

Written by

Gunjan Tomar

Activities Coordinator and Learning Support Facilitator at DPS- International School Gurugram


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