My child is in grade 10 and following the CBSE curriculum. She is brilliant in her schoolwork and gets good grades without any extra tuition or other external assistance. But as a concerned mother, I believe it's not just books and school that make a child, but her environment as well. I would like her to be able to take time off so that she mingles with her family and friends and is able to enjoy herself and relax. I also feel that the next two years are going to be even more gruelling for her as she goes into higher secondary. I believe that the educational system and the schools take a toll on the mental and emotional health of these kids. Please suggest some other curricula that are not so tough on them.
Suja via email 

The Indian CBSE system is renowned for its rigour and emphasis on academia. I am very happy to read that as a parent you have recognised the need for well-rounded education rather than focusing only on academics. However, before you decide on moving away from the Indian system, it is important to think about where your daughter will do her undergraduate studies and what subjects she will pursue.

If you are planning to go back to India, I would continue with the CBSE and if required have her do extracurricular activities outside the school.

Should you plan to send her to the US, UK, Canada or somewhere similar, then it may be worth exploring another curriculum.

My personal preference would be for the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme which, although equally rigorous in academia, has three additional components that set it apart - the extended essay, theory of knowledge and CAS activities.

However, you need to consider other factors like your daughter's preference, the possible trauma caused by a move at this late stage, availability of place at an IB school, costs and so on, before you decide to make a change.