New slogan for schools: de-stressing

DUBAI — The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is working towards de-stressing school education by shifting emphasis from its traditional year-end examinations to continuous and comprehensive evaluation system up to Class V, no homework up to Class two, and elimination of 'pass' or 'fail' up to Class V, said Ashok Ganguly, Chairman CBSE, said.

By Meraj Rizvi

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Published: Tue 7 Dec 2004, 11:39 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:24 PM

“The Board is also re-designing its curriculum content to introduce several new life skills education courses in disaster management, entrepreneurship, travel and tourism, hospitality in tandem with the changing global dynamics. An important aspect of the curriculum will be incorporation of more hands-on and practical experience to the students as a result of technological advancements,” he said.

Currently in Dubai to preside over the 'Careers Unlimited Exposition' organised jointly by Indian High School, Dubai, and Dubai Education District and supported by CBSE, Ganguly said: “We are implementing the new initiatives in a phased manner. Already, schools have been informed of the no-traditional-homework policy for students up to Class 2. They are, instead, asked to encourage them to participate in alternate assignments that give them practical exposure to the environment and their existence.”

“The pass or fail scheme is also being done away with initially up to Class 5, and gradually up to Class VIII. Assessment will be done on a five-point scale on the guidelines of continuous and comprehensive evaluation up to Class 5, thereafter, on a seven point scale for students up to grade 8,” he said, adding, the comprehensive and continuous evaluation system will be further extended in Class 9 and 10 in the future.

Ganguly admitted that the grading system to replace marks in Class 10 — a CBSE initiative announced few years ago — has not succeeded, because of lack of acceptance by other Indian education boards.

“There are 43 education boards in India and unless there is a uniform decision on its implementation by all boards, grading system introduced in Class 10 will take time to be fully implemented and accepted by the higher education institutions in the country,” he pointed out.

He pointed out that a radical change worldwide in the employment opportunities increasing in the unorganised sector as compared to organised sector, the board is focussing on a curriculum to increase preparedness of students at an early stage in the emerging career options.

According to the chairman, a new course in Life Skills education was launched by CBSE in Class VI and VII, with plans to extend this course up to Class 10 in a phased manner. Besides, CBSE is the first board in India to introduce Biotechnology subject at school level in view of its immense potential. The subject has been launched as an optional subject at senior secondary level and developed material and lab manual for Class 11 and 12.

Fashion studies course giving an overview of fashion design and establishing international relationships between design, art and craft, manufacturing and retailing, was launched by CBSE at the plus two level.

CBSE has also taken the lead by introducing a course in Entrepreneurship, another emerging discipline to guide the learner to self employment, he said, adding that the curriculum has been designed to cover aspects like planning, management, market analysis, marketing techniques and resource mobilisation.

In addition, the board has introduced practical and project activities in Mathematics from the new academic session to make it more interactive and student-friendly.

All schools should set up a Mathematics Laboratory before March 31, 2005, he said, explaining it is now a mandatory requirement of all CBSE schools to help integrate the evaluation of practical competencies with theory and make the learning of mathematics more pragmatic and life oriented.

Commenting on teacher empowerment and support to help implement the curriculum changes effectively, he noted that teachers play an important role. Their skills need to be upgraded and a teacher support education system is being proposed to offer training to teachers on the new courses and curriculum content of the CBSE.

He agreed that the curriculum changes are facing resistance from several schools in the UAE and in India. "But we are ready to help the schools by providing them with Master resource persons to help implement the changes smoothly," he said.

Further, he added that the School Games Federation of India would soon give CBSE’s emphasis on sports skills in children.

"We have taken up the issue with the Indian government and in near future we will get equivalence and recognition for CBSE sport activities, which is the best organised sport activity at school level," he said.

On the career counselling conference, he said Singapore plans to soon host the conference,. In addition, several conferences on career counselling are being held in different parts of India, he added.

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