CBSE-i curriculum discard poses dilemma for thousands of students

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Thousands of students in various Indian schools worldwide are in a dilemma over CBSE’s move to discard its international curriculum.

India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recently issued a circular announcing discontinuation of its CBSE-i curriculum, from 2017-18 academic year.

According to CBSE, the international curriculum was initiated as a pilot project in 2010-11 and will be scraped away due to operational difficulties.

  • The circular states that schools outside India that have approval for both CBSE-i and CBSE curricula should shift the CBSE-i students to CBSE curriculum.
  • Meanwhile, those schools that offer only CBSE-i and are not affiliated with CBSE have also been asked to withdraw the curriculum and seek regular CBSE affiliation offering main curriculum.

However, with several schools unable to provide any concrete solutions parents and students are in a predicament as to what needs to be done.

Mixed response by parents, schools

“We began the stream in the academic year 2010-11, a number of parents come to us requesting the curriculum. Now it is going back to square one and question arises why the whole project was started. A step in the right direction has been retraced,” said A K Srivastava, Principal of Birla Public School, Doha.

Birla Public School, Doha alone has more than 1,000 students following the curriculum, in various classes. The school also boasts of more than 55 dedicated teaching staff for the stream.

According to a report on The Peninsula, most schools were yet to take a decision on the move.

“We have got the circular from the authorities and we need to discuss the issue with the management. Students will be taken care of, they can be given promotion to a higher class in the CBSE main stream,” said Dr Subhash Nair, Principal of Shantiniketan Indian School.

Meanwhile, many of the parents frowned upon the decision, stressing the fact that the curriculum was of high quality.

“We have not received any official information from the school yet. However, personally I disapprove of the move, as I chose the stream for my child, considering the excellence of the stream,” said Roy Thomas, whose daughter studies in the curriculum.

“I am a bit upset because the curriculum had offered one of the best teaching methods. Children were able to understand and learn what was being taught. There is a difference in the style of teaching and learning in CBSE-i and the CBSE main stream. So for students in higher classes, the switch to new system will make studies comparatively tougher,” said Rashmi, whose two children are following the discounted stream.

However, for many discontinuation of CBSE-i curriculum was a blessing in disguise.

“I had to chose the stream because there were no seats available in any of the Indian schools for the CBSE main stream. The curriculum is expensive, that I have to pay double the amount compared to the main stream. Now, my children can take up the main stream,” said a parent.

“The stream was very expensive and I had chosen as I heard the quality of education was higher. However, I had to face huge disappointment as there was no proper study materials for the stream. I personally laud the move,” said another parent.

Meanwhile, the board has also reintroduced compulsory Class X board examination from the academic year 2017-18.

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The decision to reintroduce compulsory Class X board examination from the coming academic year has also created discontent. Currently the curriculum follows Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern.

“Scrapping of the CCE and introduction of compulsory examination is a cause for concern. All schools here were following the system correctly. However, some schools implemented the system improperly. Instead of closing the loopholes, the decision to reintroduce the old system is not wise,” said Dr Srivastava.

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