CBSE board schools now for everyone, everywhere!CBSE popularity is touching states and provinces in country long and wide. It is not just because it has an easy syllabus but it is standard and thus comes to rescue of families who get a lot of tranfers. The landscape of school education has for long promised a variety of choices. Almost half- a- dozen school boards— local or national or international— offer Indian students a choice of academic algorithms for future careers. But of them all, the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) that was largely designed for those who moved home and could not be loyal to state boards, is picking up popularity across the nation.
In 1996- 97, there were 4, 843 affiliated schools to the CBSE board. This has grown to 15, 000 institutes now- with most of the growth coming from independent private schools, thus indicating the way the wind is blowing. Though every year thousands of Indian parents find it tough to decide which board their child must sign up for, even new school managements too face the same quandary when they start operations.
CBSE officials and school principals attribute the board’s popularity to its academic and administrative reforms, which are student-and school- friendly. “Close to 98 % of the schools that apply for affiliation are new institutes”, said an officer. From 2005 onwards, the affiliation process is online and information at every stage is sent via electronic mail (email). “Also, this board is a national board, thus allowing parents to shift to just about anywhere in the country. NCERT syllabus is also the most modern and wholesome one which is in tune with the times”, said a CBSE administrative officer.

Little wonder then that in 2001- 02 there were 6, 293 affiliated schools, which increased to 13, 898 in March 2012- 13. Most of the growth came from independent institutions, the count of which went up from 3, 483 in 2001- 02 to 10, 290 by the end of 2013.

Delhi has the largest number of CBSE schools, then Uttar Pradesh, followed by Haryana, and Kerala. State of Maharashtra has seen a 67 % increase in the number of CBSE schools in the last three years, and is now home to over 500 institutes.
Regional officer of the CBSE Sudharshan Rao said- “We are experiencing an increase each year in the Chennai region of which Maharashtra is a part. Numbers are going up due to the new CBSE schools, which are coming up in the region.”
Principals attribute the popularity to the fact that at higher classes, and the syllabus is in line with the competitive entrance exams for professional courses.
According to CBSE officials, it’s the academic reforms that is pulling the crowds. A senior official from the CBSE said, “We have introduced and successfully implemented CCE (continuous comprehensive evaluation) system which has been a huge plus. Likewise, our syllabus is upgraded regularly to suit the changing periods. Introduction of PSA (Problem Solving Assessment) and the school based exam for class X are also helping us.”

The board is also making efforts to make learning stress- free for students, according to the official. Of late, the CBSE also issued guidelines for teachers to constructively deal with misbehaviour in class and for the past two years, the board announces the results without prior intimation.

This post was published by Aditya Singhal, co-founder of askIITians.

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