Home LifestyleCulture High School in India: The Different Stages

High School in India: The Different Stages

by Logan

Every country has its own way of how its education system is allocated into different stages. No matter the allocation, every country’s priority is to make it easier and at the same time efficient for their students. They prioritize how and in what way their culture and history will be best consumed.

India is no exception when it comes to constantly finding new ways to improve and develop its education system. Up until July of 2020, the educational system of India was based on the 10+2 system, meaning that it was divided into two stages of schooling 10 years and then two years of higher secondary schooling. The students would complete the 10 years and get rewarded with a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and a Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) after completing the 12th year.

However, in July 2020, the New Education Policy was implemented which reshaped the educational system of India. As a result, one of the major changes it brought was that it replaced the 10+2 system with a 5+3+3+4 system. The last 4 years of education are collectively called ‘secondary education’ which covers the age from 14 to 18 years.

Secondary education is divided into two stages, from grade 9-10 and grade 11-12. These 4 years of education are given in a high school. It may be collectively called a high school, nevertheless, the last 2 years of high school, from grade 11-to 12, are recognized as to be called a secondary school in India. The secondary school is further split into halves, meaning that the last year of secondary school, the 12th grade is called a senior secondary school.

Since we have briefly described the current educational system of India, it is only fair to know its commencement. To best understand the current education system of India, we must take a look at the history of its education system and how it has changed over the years.

Is high school and secondary school the same in India?

Person sitting in class
The Indian school system has four levels

The school system in India is confusing, but not complicated to understand. The Indian school system has four levels which are called lower primary which is divided into five standards (age 6 to 10), the upper primary is divided into two (11 and 12), high school is divided into three (13 to 15), and higher secondary into two (17 and 18). Primarily, students study the same curriculum, except for regional changes and their mother tongue until the end of high school.

Different schools have different terms to refer to different classes, for instance, some schools refer to courses of 11th and 12th as high school, and for other schools, high school may refer to classes from 6th to 12th. Secondary education covers students aged 14 to 18 and the last two years are referred to as Higher Secondary (HS), or Senior Secondary. Moreover, the two final years can also be called the “+2” stage. Considering all the information, you can say that, high school and secondary school are the same as it mainly depends on each school.

Most of the time, high school is referred to as the classes of 9th to 10th, and secondary school is referred to as the classes of 11th to 12th. Furthermore, in some regions, high school is referred to as the classes of 9th to 12th, and secondary school is referred to as the  4-year of bachelor’s degree in an undergraduate program.

Here’s a table that will make you better understand how the classes are mostly categorized.

StagesGradesAges
Primary School1st grade to 5th the grade6 years to 10 years
Middle School6th grade to the 8th grade11 years to 14 years
Junior High school9th grade to 10th grade14 years to 16 years
Senior High school11th grade to 12th grade16 years to 18 years
Different Classes in India

What do they call high school in India?

Children looking up
There’s no one definition of high school in India

As every school has its own way of categorizing classes, there’s no definition for high school in India, even in a general way.

It’s quite complicated to come to the conclusion of what high school is called in India because every school refers to it with reference to different classes. In some schools, high school is referred to as the classes from 11th to 12th, while in other schools, high school is referred to as the courses of 6th to 12th.

However, in most regions of the world, high school is referred to as the classes of 9th to 10th, while in other regions, it’s referred to as the classes of 9th to 12th.

What does secondary school mean in India?

In India, secondary school begins in grade nine and ends in grade twelve. It’s made up of two levels, typically called the lower and upper secondary school, and 17 to 18 aged teenagers are the students.

Generally, secondary school can be defined in two ways, one is that it’s used to refer to the classes of 11th to 12th, and another way to define it is that, secondary school is also referred to as the 4-year of bachelor’s degree in an undergraduate program.

History of the educational system in India

A silhouette of a kid reading
Gurukul was one of India’s first school systems.

India initiated their education in the simplest and the most traditional way, with the name ‘Gurukul’. Gurukul was the first and foremost system of how education will be imparted to the young in India, which was initiated dating back to around 5000 BC.

It started off in the most traditional way of India, where the students not only received knowledge through books but, in addition to that, were taught about religious, spiritual, and physical welfare studies, where even the mode of communication was the ancient Sanskrit language. The students were required to live with their teacher or in close proximity to the school, for the particular reason of developing an emotional bond between the teacher and students for the better transmission of knowledge.

However, as of today, to keep up with the pace of the world, the educational system of India has gone through drastic changes. The modern system of education was introduced by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, in the 1830s. As seen today, the modernized curriculum took precedence over the curriculum of Gurukul, which included moral, ethical, and spiritual learning.

As opposed to that, the modern curriculum comprised of the subjects that focused on technology and were taught in the English language. As the subjects like science and mathematics took precedence over the subjects like metaphysics and philosophy, the emphasis was put on the competitive system of examination and grades, contrary to the educational system of Gurukul.

What are the types of schools in India?

An empty classroom
The school system in India has 4 stages

As mentioned above, the educational system of India is divided into 4 stages, which are: the foundational stage, preparatory stage, middle stage, and secondary stage. Similarly, the schools are split accordingly to the stages.

  • The foundational stage is from the age of 3 to 8 years which is split into two stages. The first one is 3 years of preschool and the second one is 2 years of primary school where the studies are primarily based on activity and the development of language skills.
  • The second stage is called the preparatory stage which is from the age of 8 to 11 years. In this stage, students are introduced to the subjects like mathematics, science, and languages, as well as, skills like writing and reading, which are taught in primary school.
  • The third stage is the middle stage which is from the age of 11 to 14 years. This stage covers the grades from six to eight, where students are taught to grasp the concepts of critical learning of subjects like humanities, arts, and science which are taught in middle school.
  • The secondary stage starts from the age of 14 to 18 years, where the students are provided with multiple subjects as options to choose from as per their interests. This stage covers the classes from 9 to 12, where the students are taught critical thinking and about their chosen subjects in depth. This stage is taught in high school.

Check out the video below to learn more about the schools in India.

Types of schools in India

To Conclude

Every country has its own ways of defining its different stages. Secondary education is divided into two stages, from grade 9-10 and grade 11-12.

4 years of education are called high school, and the last 2 years of high school are called secondary schools in India. The secondary school is further divided into two, meaning that the final year of secondary school which is the 12th grade is called a senior secondary school.

Every school has its own way of categorizing the stages of classes, thus it’s quite complicated to define high school in India.

Other Articles


related articles