Which Secondary School Education Board Syllabus works best for your kid:  State, Matriculation, CBSE, or ICSE? This is a debate that has divided students and parents for many years and will continue to do so. Before you choose one or the other, you must understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them.

We asked our experts to analyse the strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to determine which one comes out on top. Let’s begin!

CBSE

The Central Board for Secondary Education is the most popular educational board in India, spreading across every state. It is also the national board of India. CBSE follows a common syllabus across the nation. CBSE places a lot of emphasis on Science and Mathematics, but not as much on English.

The first language your child chooses can either be English or Hindi. Some of the common second and third languages they offer are Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, whereas foreign languages like French, Spanish, and German are often 4th language options. The second and third languages may change depending on the school. The CBSE has mediums in both English and Hindi.

CBSE is tougher than State Boards and also has a larger curriculum. The CBSE study pattern prepares the student for entrance exams related to IIT and AIIMS – provided they have adequate marks. Your child can study in whatever field you choose (Medical science, non-medical science, commerce, and arts), and the child can take classes related to that stream.  

ICSE

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) is in charge of the Indian School Certification Examination (ICSE). Schools that follow the ICSE plan are in English medium only.

ICSE has a detailed syllabus and the students receive comprehensive learning about the subjects, almost to the point where students will consider it to be too extensive. Arts, science, languages, and maths are all given equal importance to the ICSE Board. As such, ICSE is the toughest of the lot. ICSE also has a lower amount of schools in India than CBSE. However the ICSE history taught can be more western oriented and may not be in tune with traditional and ancient Indian ethos.

The United Kingdom College Admissions Board has recognized the ICSE standards as being at par with the standards of the University of Scotland in the UK. The syllabus is inspired from Cambridge University in the UK. The ICSE study pattern prepares students to apply to universities in the US or Europe.

State Syllabus

Every state has their own State Board and is controlled by the Education Minister for the respective state. The Department of Education for the respective state government is responsible for everything related to education. For example, the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh follow the Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) Board.

As there is no central administration in charge of the proceedings, the paper patterns, and syllabus vary from state to state making comparing marks from two different states impractical.

The State syllabus is simpler than those of CBSE and ICSE, but you must learn the State language. The syllabus is much less rigorous than that of CBSE and ICSE. It is designed keeping in mind that these books apply to all economic sections of society and therefore must be easy to follow by all. A student studying following the State Board guidelines may find it difficult to get accepted into a college outside the state due to the lack of a single nationwide standard.

On the other hand, it is easier for them to pursue higher studies in a college within the state as they are already well-acquainted with the state’s educational syllabus.

Matriculation

Just like with State Boards, every state has a Matriculation Board for their syllabus. The standard of education in the matriculation system is higher than the State Board, but lower than CBSE and ICSE.  

The Matriculation Board conducts exams only up to the tenth standard, unlike the other three which conduct exams up to 12th standard. After the tenth standard, the Matriculation Board shifts to the State Board and follows the State Board syllabus.

Matriculation places more focus on memorising and learning by rote compared to CBSE, which tests the student’s understanding of the subject. This leads to less analytical thinking among the students. However, most people would agree that the standard of education is better than that of State Board.  

Which is Best?

Every board has its merits and demerits, and there is no outright winner. CBSE and ICSE may be slightly better in terms of the education offered, but that is no reason to avoid the State or Matriculation Boards. Just because many parents opt for CBSE doesn’t mean you should as well. Take a look at the syllabus that all the schools offer.

It all comes down to your child and what you believe they are capable of learning. Some might consider CBSE or ICSE schools too stressful and fail to perform well. Of course, two schools with the same board could be vastly different in their teaching methodology.

If searching for schools in a new location, staying with the same board is the wise choice as the child is already accustomed to it. If the child is older, take a look at what your child wants to do in the future. Your child will not be doomed to fail as a result of you choosing the wrong board, but it is a critical decision. Take some time to think about it instead of taking a hasty choice and regretting it later.

Once you decide on a board for your child, you can turn to Let’s Practise for help. We help students from 3rd to 9th standard by providing them with course material, question papers and worksheets. It doesn’t matter if your child is studying in CBSE, ICSE, or SSC. Our assistance will undoubtedly improve your child with their exam preparation. Click here to learn more about all the plans we offer.

Are you looking to get your child admitted in a new school? A combination of shortsighted government policies, vested interests and unrealistic expectations has led to a quagmire in the quality of education. The majority of government schools just aren’t up to par. That’s the sad truth! Private schools offer a better quality of education, but they only have a limited number of seats and huge number of parents clamoring for them.

Not everyone can start and complete their schooling in the same campus.  Owing to job changes, housing issues and transfers, it is quite likely likely that you may be forced or willing opt to choose a new school. However it is tough if the child has to switch schools, for that means they have to adjust to an unfamiliar location, make new friends and essentially start a fresh way of life.

Sometimes, you just don’t have a choice and have to opt to go with whatever school you’re ward is lucky to get admitted. We all want our child to get the best education possible in the new surroundings. How can you make sure that the school is meeting both your expectations and the child’s needs? Here is what you should look for when assessing the right new school for your kid.

Referrals from Parents

The best way to determine the quality of the school is to or visit education forums or ask parents whose children attend the shortlisted school. Also be sure to ask if there are any unwelcome surprises in terms of fees. This will give you an unbiased opinion of the school. How is the atmosphere of the school – easy going, mildly strict, very strict or toxic?

No school is perfect, but if the school has too many negative reviews, it is time to rethink.  Enquiring with other parents may also get you the inside scoop on how the school runs classes and events. If you have multiple kids, getting them all in the same school may be a better option.

Transportation

Check the travel time between the school and your home. Ideally you want a school that isn’t too far off. Consider the time and finances that you have to invest if you enroll your child in a faraway school.

Does the school offer safe bus or van services? If alternate travel arrangements cannot be made, and If you are going to be dropping them off and picking them up, you have to make sure you are available during the specified time. If both parents are working, it is doubly difficult as there will most certainly be traffic during school hours. What about parking?  Check that out too.

Security and Infrastructure

Be sure to take a look in and around the school to inspect it. It’s not just the tables, chairs and classrooms that you should observe. Are there clean restrooms, play areas and a well stocked library? Are the cricket pitch and football ground properly maintained? Is there proper security, fencing and CCTV at vantage points to keep unwanted elements off the school premises?

Cost

One crucial information you should look for is the cost involved. Sometimes, the tuition fee claimed is not the total. The real expenses could be much higher – books, uniform, shoes, stationery, transport, snacks, field trips, sports, study classes and the dreaded ‘miscellaneous expenses’.

Be on the lookout for hidden expenses or fees that the school may tack on after your child has joined. It is tough to back out of the deal after you have accepted.

Parent – Teacher Association

You can find out more about your child and what they’re doing in class if you meet the teachers. There are times when your child  will conceal information from you and the only way for you to find out is by hearing it from a teacher.

Does the school have a Parent-Teacher Association? Are regular meetings being held? How easy is it to get hold of the teachers? Does the school offer online or a mobile app to access the academic information? Is there a WhatsApp or other forum to seek answers?

Language Options

Does the school offer a choice of vernacular and international languages? The medium of the school is also important to look at. Don’t restrict your choice to English speaking or ‘convent’ schools. Vernacular students can also excel with the right support at home and in the school.

Another important question is whether the school carries the quality through to all levels. They may be excellent at managing younger kids, but can they maintain the interests of middle and high-schoolers? There is nothing wrong with wanting a good environment for your child now, but please keep the long term interests in mind as well.

Choosing the right school for your child isn’t easy, but remember to keep these notes in mind as a sort of checklist while you go scouting for a school. Once you find the school you want, Let’s Practise can help your child succeed. We offer programs and courses for students from 3rd to 9th standard. Just contact us today to find out more.

Kids and reading in this mobile age!

“As a kid, I would get my parents to drop me off at my local library on their way to work during the summer holidays, and I would walk home at night. For several years, I read the children’s library until I finished the children’s library. Then I moved into the adult library and slowly worked my way through them.” ~ Neil Gaiman

It was very difficult to finalize just 6 libraries in Pune for kids from the choices available but we took the risk to antagonize some of you!

Our choices were based on reviews, their social media presence, kid-centric, safe location, flexibility and the collection available.

So here are the top six according to us:

  • Justbooks CLC

Justbooks CLC

Timings: 10am – 9pm; Monday Closed

Justbooks is a chain of bookstores all over India. The advantage is that you can have the books delivered to you or you can go and pick one yourself. They sell monthly memberships and generally have a great selection of books available for kids.

They have 13 locations in Pune which means that there is a Justbooks centre always close to you! Get the locations and fee structure at justbooksclc.com

  • Unnati Library

Shop No 1 Building 6 Moraya Residency Phase III,

Pashan Sus Road, Pashan.

Ph: 9967013101, 9967019401

www.unnatilibrary.com

Timings: 10.30am to 7.30pm; Monday closed

Unnati is a recent entrant to Pune with their other centres being in the Mumbai region. While their collection is smaller, they have toys too. Looks like a place to pick if you want to wean your young kid away from his or her mobile browsing or gaming activities.

  • Waari Book Cafe

Ground Floor, Choice Institute,

Macdonalds Lane, Near Karishma Chowk,

Karve Road, Kothrud.

Ph: 9822666550

www.waaribookcafe.com

Timings: 10am – 9pm; Monday closed

For the slightly older kid but a great place for the bookworm and the serious ones. Inhouse cafe also takes care of hunger pangs with tasty snacks and beverages.

  • Junglebook

Avni arcade, Gaikwad Nagar,

Aundh.

Ph: 020 25882223 020 25893223, 8805202828

http://www.junglebookpune.org

Timings: 10am – 7pm; Thursday closed.

The Junglebook has morphed into an activity centre but still has a good selection of books for young kids. Call Jas or just walk in.

  • British Council Library

917/1, Fergusson College Road,

Shivaji Nagar.

Ph: 020 456 9000

https://www.britishcouncil.in/library/about/pune

Timings: 11am – 7pm; Monday closed

The British Library has an incredible collection of books not just for adults but for kids too. A membership fee is required to check out books.

The final one is a mobile lending library!

  • Bookspace

Shop No. 1, Silver Arch Apts, opp. Kamal Netralay,

Lane no. 3, Dahanukar Colony,

Kothrud.

Ph: 8408020606,  9890658387

https://bookspace.in

Call Prasad  Kulkarni and his book lending library will be at your doorstep!

Adult Libraries

For the adults, apart from the British Council Library, we recommend a visit to the following libraries:

  • Balasaheb Ambedkar Library, SB Road.
  • Pagdandi Books, Baner.
  • Samit Library, Sadashiv Peth.

“I had no books at home. I started to frequent a public library in Lisbon. It was there, with no help except curiosity and the will to learn, that my taste for reading developed and was refined.” ~ Jose Saramago

So what do parents need to look for before enrolling their kids into one of these libraries?

  • Allow you to browse all day without shooing you off!
  • Adjoining cafe for that snack and beverage
  • Clean restrooms
  • Flexible working hours on holidays
  • Low membership fee
  • Book reading sessions, workshops and other activities
  • Great atmosphere for your kid to imbibe reading values

“Bad libraries build collections. Good libraries build services. Great libraries build communities.” ~ Tim McCormick.

At Lets Practise, we encourage parents to nudge their kids to get into the reading habit. If there are any good libraries in your neighbourhood that need to be featured, let us know. Like us on Facebook, contact us or just give us a call to know more about our solutions and services for ICSE & CBSE kids.

After school learning programs are organised for students to extend the learning experience beyond school hours. These programs include academic help, skill development, creative art development, sports and other extracurricular programs.

If you find the following troubling issues with your child, then an academic after school program may be worth looking into:

  • Poor grades
  • Lack of confidence
  • Difficulty in learning

A good after school program is a boon for working parents who get to spend less time with kids. It will help your child learn and develop essential skills with fun.

Since there are various after school programs offered for school kids and teenagers, let’s try to understand the benefits that they offer to both working and non-working parents.

So, how can the academic program help him?

The power of after-school learning can be understood as your browse through the blog post from experts at Lets Practise:

1. Utilise the after school hours efficiently.

Children have access to mobile phones and others gadgets from a young age. Even a toddler can be seen watching rhymes on his mum’s iPhone. You will also agree with us that your child cannot sit quietly in a place for more than 10 or 15 minutes. With an overactive brain and hundreds of queries, they try to find answers on the internet. Parents cannot keep an eye on their children all the time and the risk is higher in the case of working parents.

A good after school program keeps your child engaged with useful stuff and safe at the same time.

2. Skill development.

The after school program integrates a child’s emotional and social skills development with the academic skills. The child thus develops new skills and socialise with students in class easily than others.  This program also gives the child time to develop his creative genius. The after school program also monitors and notes down the child’s academic and skill development throughout the program. This report offers an opportunity for parents to identify their child’s talents, nurture and provide channels to showcase them.

3. Academic support.

Reading and understanding what you read can be a big task for primary school kids. The After school program helps your child develop learning skills, speaking skills, communication skills etc. apart from academics. It aids students in pronouncing the word correctly and explaining the context of every complicated word they read. This broadens their understanding and students who attend after-school programs are more organised and attentive in the class.

Educative games, quiz, surprise tests and worksheets keep students hooked to what they learn. Since information presented is easy to comprehend, learning becomes fun in an after school program. This also helps students complete their homework and assignments efficiently and on time.

Let’s Practise is a unique platform that offers learning programs recommended by parents of students from grade 3-9 of CBSE, ICSE and SSC boards. Enrol your child in one the programs and let him face the exams with confidence.

Is handwriting actually a reflection of a person’s personality?

HandwritingMost of us simply stop paying attention to handwriting soon after a certain age. We have our own excuses on how being overtly busy and short of time has made us drag the letters along, sometimes to such an extent that anyone else trying to read us would have to use a magnifier. You may start thinking and even believing that it doesn’t matter. But what if you were told that it is at places considered a medium to gauge your personality?

 Is handwriting actually a reflection of a person’s personality?

Our words say more about us than we might think. The popular belief is that writing is a way of expressing. Handwriting speaks volumes of an individual. It is a personal expression, and reflects who the person is on the inside. Everybody’s handwriting is unique, just like one’s fingerprint.

Our writing can determine our goals, willpower, persistence, intellect, initiative, ambition, imagination, self-confidence, vanity, repression, aggression, resentment, anger, integrity and above all sociability .

According to a research, our handwriting can give away clues of about 5,000 different personality traits based on :

  • the way we space our letters,
  • how we sign our name, and
  • even how we connect the letter ‘o’ and ‘s’ to other letters in a word.

Our writing is like an energy. Just as our energy varies from high to low, our moods vary from excitement to sorrow, our writing will vary to reflect this.  However, we are still the same person underneath those moods. Every time we put pen to paper the basic characteristics we possess will surface. We are a combination of dozens of different factors, a unique you that no one else is like. That is why our handwriting is unlike anyone else’s.

Although we are taught the same handwriting style as thousands of other school age children, our handwriting evolves with us as the years go by. It takes on a more personal style. Along with character development as we age, many elements occur during our lifetime that play a part in modifying us : culture, education, family and social background, influences and experiences. Our handwriting wraps ups all of these factors.

This article will help you find out what your writing says about you.