Janet Wankhede, parent of grade nine student in Dubai
“We chose a CBSE school for our daughter in Dubai as there is a good variety of CBSE schools in Dubai. She used to study at an ICSE school in India, but few schools cater to ICSE in Dubai.
“The CBSE syllabus is good but the portion is a lot to work with; some students struggle with it. My daughter is a high-achiever so she doesn’t have a problem. But we have to remember there are children of various aptitudes in the classroom and [some] may find CBSE too much to take in.
“I think if we cut down the portion, it’ll be better.
“Also, in Dubai, CBSE schools have more fun activities and extracurricular options, perhaps because of the international exposure of this place.
“As long as studies are not just theories, but also include field trips and other activities, it’s good. Personally, I don’t have regrets for choosing CBSE [for my child].”
Anoop Maheshwari, parent of grade 12 student in Sharjah
“My elder son had graduated from a CBSE school and my younger son is in Grade 12 CBSE now. CBSE graduates are accepted in India or any other place – my elder son is now studying in the US. So recognition of CBSE is not a problem.
“But what I don’t like, is that it still has a rote-type of learning. For example, if you compare its business studies books with other curricula, you’ll find mostly theoretical stuff, and loads of definitions to memorise. Had it been more on a case-study basis, for instance, it would have been more exciting for students. If you compare it with the UK curriculum, and I have, you will see they are more practical, their books are so illustrative – that makes students like the subject.
“You can’t just be focused on passing exams, by memorising definitions and repeating them. Learning has to be practical and fun. The CBSE is generally good, it’s only the way of imparting education that has stayed mostly the same and it needs to change.”
Preeti Patnaik, Mother of two sons in Grade 8 and Grade 10, in Dubai
“I think CBSE should include project-based assignments, in line with other curricula. Emphasis should be on building the ability of the student to relate the text with a practical example, moving away from the Q&A system.
The rigour and training [of CBSE] is very beneficial, and should continue.
CBSE gives a base and the student builds on it. I attended a science project, my son was one of the participants and to my pleasant surprise, the school had invited external evaluators who were experts in technology/AI, etc. The students learnt a lot from that interaction.
Regarding soft skills, every child has that opportunity regardless of the curriculum. Children learn soft skills at home, school and in the neighbourhood. School has offered my sons the opportunity to develop soft skills and I am very thankful to the school for the same.
Aftab Alam, father of two children in primary and secondary grades in Sharjah
“The CBSE syllabus is vast and exhaustive – that’s a positive thing. CBSE students are exposed to such a broad body of knowledge that they can, relative to students of other curriculums, cope more easily in competitive university entrance exams, or even if they switch to other curriculums.
“At the same time, I think there’s an over-emphasis on exams in CBSE. Even in Grade 3, you have many exams in one year. This puts added pressure on younger children. Other curricula, especially Western ones, hardly have any exams until Grade 7.
“Instead of having more exams, we should have more interactive learning, such as guest lecturers, field trips and so on.”