India follows the 10+2+3 education system which basically translates to 10 years of education in schools and then 2 years of higher secondary in junior colleges following which there are 3 years of graduation degree in colleges. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) looks after the educational curriculum for school education.
Apart from NCERT there are other governing bodies for the curriculum such as The State Government, The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) under which falls three categories such as the Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination which is abbreviated as ICSE till Class 10. For classes 11 and 12, it is the Indian School Certificate and Certificate in Vocational Education (CVE) is till Class 12. You also get the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) along with autonomous schools.
In India, schooling is divided into stages. The first stage that every pupil goes through is the pre-primary schooling. Pre-primary education, though very much important is not a fundamental right in India. There are many places in the country which do not have access to the pre-primary education. Nursery classes are attended by pupils who are around the age of 2 to 3 years.
Lower Kindergarten follows Nursery with pupils of 4 to 5 years of age attending school. Upper Kindergarten is the next step for pupils around 5 to 6 years of age. After this pre-primary schooling, students are taught about primary schooling that starts from the age of 6 and in Class I. Classes VIII to X is the age where they are taught in secondary grades. Higher secondary falls under the XI and XII classes.
The United States, on the other hand also follows the grade division pattern but the pattern is a bit different from that of India. Compulsory education starts from their elementary school. Kindergarten is the first step of learning of every student’s career. Starting from the time the child is 5 to 6 years of age, it passes on to 1st grade directly for pupils of 6 to 7 years of age. Elementary school carries on to 6th grade which is attended by students of 11 to 12 years of age which paves on to Middle school that is attended by students till 8th grade (age group of 13 to 14 years).
High school follows it which is further divided into 4 subcategories. They are- Freshman year (9th grade), Sophomore year (10th grade), Junior year (11th grade) and finally the Senior year (12th grade). The post secondary education also follows the same pattern of Freshman year being attended by students of the age group 18 to 19 years, Sophomore year by students of the age group 19 to 20 years, Junior year by students of the age group 20 to 21 years and Senior by 21 to 22 years of age.
There are a lot of similarities when it comes to the Indian education system and the education system of the US. The similarities include the presence of qualified teachers, well designed syllabus and curriculum, laboratories and libraries, free education in public schools etc. But. Along with all these similarities, there are a lot of differences that are there in the education system of both the places.
The United States focuses on peer to peer education which means every student should get the maximum attention that is there to be given by each teacher per subject. In India, there is an approximate of 50 students in a class per teacher where the US has around 20 to 25 students in each class per teacher. Having said that, in India, education is like formality, a routine. Whereas in the US, education is a learning process.
Indian education focuses majorly on studies whereas, education in the United States focuses on extra curricular activities apart from studies too. Indian students are also not given the choice to choose what they want to study. Their careers are often impacted by the ongoing trends in education but the education system in the United States is not like that.
The education system in both the places faces a major difference when it comes to the flexibility. The US comprises of a very flexible education system but the system of India is very traditional. Indian education system emphasises more on core subjects. While the United States focuses on both extracurricular activities and core subjects.
You can pick up any student and ask them if they like maths or not, there’s a guarantee that a major number of people would say that they don’t. The best part about the education system of the United States is that maths is an optional subject throughout the study tenure. The Indian educational system, however is one such where maths is compulsory till Class X after which you get the option of selecting maths or not for your higher studies.
Any school going kid would be aware that in India one has to carry a bag full of books to school everyday but in the United States, one has to go with fewer books to school. This also adds on to the point that there're no examinations for the students of lower classes in the US but in India, you have to sit for examinations no matter you are of what grade.
All this and much more proves that there is a lack of flexibility in the Indian education system and the education system in the United States is a step ahead. For this, the Indian education system has to step up and gear their education system in a more compact way.