Not many takers for ICSE.

HYDERABAD: Notwithstanding the good show by students in ICSE board examinations, many schools in the city, including reputed ones, are facing an enrolment crunch.

School managements say only few are opting for the ICSE board syllabus, with a majority preferring CBSE and state boards. They attribute the declining popularity of ICSE to the belief that ICSE is not a supportive syllabus for competitive examinations including Eamcet, IIT-JEE and AIEEE. Others, however, attribute it to the overnight mushrooming of state board and CBSE schools in the city.

While there were hundreds of ICSE board schools in Andhra Pradesh till 1970s, there are just about 35 now.

Officials of Hyderabad Public School (HPS), which started offering ICSE syllabus since its inception in 1923, say that the shift to other boards from ICSE started after competitive examinations were introduced. “In the pre-independence period, English language learning was given a lot of importance and ICSE follows this tradition. But after the 1990s when students became more interested in competitive examinations, ICSE began to be considered to be a board where much time is wasted on English,”observes Kirti Chaturvedi, vice-principal, HPS. In ICSE syllabus a detailed study of English language and literature is prescribed.

Many parents also feel that their children will lose out on the competitive advantage needed to crack an IIT entrance or even an Eamcet test. Even for all India medical entrance tests, students prefer CBSE to ICSE as Medical Council of India ( MCI) recognises CBSE as its syllabus.

“The parents do not understand that ICSE has the most vast science syllabus for both Class X and Class XII,” said Ram Reddy, director, Oakwood International, an ICSE school. He notes that several students from ICSE streams crack national and state-level entrance tests.

Coaching centre experts corroborate Ram Reddy’s point. They say many students from ICSE boards do well in state and national entrance examinations. “The students who come from ICSE background are good in both Biology and Mathematics. They have a broader outlook and are good at grabbing basic concepts taught in class. The usual rote learning route is not taken by them,” says D V Rao, vice-chairman, Narayana group of institutions.

Nevertheless, the ICSE board is not popular in the southern states. “Even now pupils who opt for ICSE (largely) include those who have come to the city from the northern states as they consider the board to have national reputation and standard. ICSE schools in the city have maximum enrolment of students whose parents have transferable jobs,” an official of an ICSE school said.

Parents say that many opt out of ICSE education as only a handful of schools offer ISC (Class XI and XII). Just about six schools in the city offer till Class XII in ISC board.

Source : TOI

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