Tag Archive ICSE


School education in India and US

When we moved to India, 7 years ago – the first thing that stumped me when we were looking for our kid’s admissions,  were the different boards in India. Even though we had done our schooling and undergraduate education in India, staying away for 14 years, totally erased the Indian school system from our minds. We were used to the US elementary school system but the Indian system was a lot different. This post lists the differences between the Indian and US school system.

The US education system:

The US has only two school systems – the public school system or the private school system. In the public school system – education is absolutely free from kindergarten up until 12th grade! (very,very difficult to think  of the term ‘free’ for good school education in India! :)) 



Private schools in US charge for their education system.

If you are in a good school district, we are fairly certain that we will get good,free school education up until 12th grade in public schools of US.

The Indian system:

Now, the Indian system of school education involves many boards. We as parents are constantly trying to navigate the different boards comparing, analyzing and contrasting the different boards.  The two pre-dominant boards are CBSE (Central board of secondary education) and ICSE (Indian certificate of secondary education)  While I do not have not much experience with the CBSE board, I can safely say a few points regarding the ICSE board:

  1. It is a thoroughly exhaustive syllabus(read – extremely vast!) with the curriculum increasing in thickness as you go up each grade.
  2. You have to appear for 10 subjects for the 10th grade board exams(yes – 10 subjects! )
  3. This serves as a good spring board for the 11th grade syllabus and eventually the other competitive exams. 

Now, each city and each locality might be more inclined towards a particular board. For example, I suspect the city of Chennai is more inclined towards the CBSE and State boards. The city of Bangalore is more inclined towards the ICSE board. 

In addition there are the IGCSE(International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and IB boards as well. IGCSE and IB are the boards that offer international curriculum. 

As parents we are constantly navigating the board maze in India which constantly changes. No sooner do we think that we have understood a board, that a few changes crop up, confusing us again! 🙂 

Good luck on deciding the perfect board education for your child if you are in India and deciding on a private school or public school if you are in the US!


Jayanthi Manikandan has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from India and a Master’s degree in Information systems with a specialization in Information security from Detroit, MI, USA.

She has been passionate about Information security and has several years of experience writing on various technical topics. Additionally, she loves to pen a few personal thoughts here as well! 🙂