By Sandy Hooda 

Schools in Gurgaon offer a variety of boards to choose from. Some schools offer more than one board while others exclusively offer a particular board. Let us better understand each board and its pros and cons. Other than the board, the teaching method is equally important. For example CBSE could be taught in a traditional or progressive way. And then of course there is the quality of teachers and culture which can make a school great or below average, irrespective of the board. The best schools in Gurgaon are expected to deliver high quality education irrespective of the board. Parents need to look at their context and goals, visit the schools, and only then make an informed decision.

Different types of boards

CBSE: Central Board of Secondary Education. This is the main education board of India, it comes under the union government and includes both public and private schools.

ICSE/ISC: Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and Indian School Certificate. It is a private board of education at the national level that was set up in 1956 which ultimately replaced the Cambridge board to provide Indian children with high quality education.

IB: International Baccalaureate: Based out of Geneva, Switzerland and aims to develop lifelong learners. Over 50 years old and available across thousands of schools worldwide.

Pro and cons

CBSE pros

  • To develop the child’s personality and intellect
  • More aligned for science and maths
  • Better for competitive exams
  • Becoming progressive due to the New Education Policy (NEP 2020)
  • Supports project based learning (PBL)
  • Improved assessment systems due to the NEP 2020

CBSE cons

  • Excessive focus on competitive exams
  • 100% of the marks in grades 10 and 12 from CBSE exams


  • More focus on language, arts and science
  • Better for management, literature or arts
  • Appropriate for those who want to take TOEFL
  • Separate physics, chemistry, maths and biology before grade 10
  • 20% of the marks come from internal assessments
  • More focus on application based learning


Older system not evolving at the rate CBSE is

Less funds and budgets for improvements hence its popularity is slowly eroding

IB pros

  • Child centric
  • Based on inquiry to make children think
  • Children own their learning experiences
  • Offers standardised worldwide education and exams
  • In-depth concepts explored and no prescribed textbook

IB cons

  • Expensive and less value for money when compared to CBSE schools that also offer progressive teaching methods
  • Unsuitable if parents want to send children to Indian colleges (children also lose marks while converting for Indian colleges)


Historically in India CBSE has been the most traditional curriculum focused on rote learning. Due to this reason more progressive parents had been opting for ICSE schools. However with the introduction of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, CBSE has gone for a major reform with a large amount of government research and funding. The NEP 2020 has made CBSE progressive while ICSE does not have the research or the government funds behind it. The best CBSE schools in Gurgaon are already actively implementing the NEP 2020, and as a result also adopting progressive teaching methods. 

In India, the IB has strengthened its dominance and consolidated its position as the mainstream international curriculum. The IB has substantial research supporting it and IB schools are bound to invest in teacher training and development programs. Unfortunately this is not true for CBSE and ICSE, where schools have no mandatory supervision or control over their teacher quality and training.

As stated earlier in the article, there can be high or low quality CBSE, ICSE or IB schools. The God lies in progressive teaching methods (pedagogy) they adopt, quality of teachers and investment in teacher training.

If a school that has adopted the CBSE curriculum is implementing the NEP 2020 in a disciplined way, is implementing CBSE approved progressive teaching methods such as project based learning and is investing resources in teacher training and development, then it is probably more suitable for the Indian context. Children who study in high quality and progressive CBSE schools can enjoy the best of both worlds – progressive and child centric education that is equally applicable in India and abroad. And all these at a more affordable fee.

The top CBSE school in Gurgaon will be at par with the best IB or ICSE school in the city. The top school in Gurgaon offer all the curriculums singularly or in combination. Parents have wonderful options to choose from and must invest the time and effort to do proper research. After all, selecting a good school is the most important decision a parent will probably make for the child.

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