Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday that a set of Delhi government schools would no longer be affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) but to a new Delhi Board of School Education in the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.
There are over 1,000 schools that the Delhi government runs, all of which are currently affiliated to the CBSE. While presenting the 2020 annual budget for Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had announced that the government was setting aside Rs 62 crore to set up a separate state board of education.
On Saturday, Kejriwal had announced that his goverment would begin the process of kick-starting the board in the next academic year, which begins next month. While the CBSE has recommended schools affiliated to it begin their new academic year in April, a Delhi government official said they are giving themselves a timeline with a more delayed start to the academic session, with the idea of beginning in July.
“We will not move all schools to this board at once. In this first year, affiliation of 20-25 government schools will be removed and they will be affiliated to this board. We will decide on the schools in consultations with their principals, teachers and parents. We believe that within four-five years, all private and government schools will voluntarily join this board,” said the chief minister.
Kejriwal stated that the three primary goals of the board are to produce “kattar deshbhakt (staunch patriots)”, “good people” and to prepare students to not be reliant on the job market for employment. For the last few years, the Delhi government has been emphasising on the need for young people to take up entrepreneurship through various initiatives like the entrepreneurship mindset curriculum in its schools and the establishment of a skill and entrepreneurship university.
“Our children are the future of this country. We need to prepare such children who can carry the responsibility of every sphere of the country in coming times, be it science, technology, business, trade, politics or society… Secondly, they need to be good people… ready to break down all walls and see each other as humans… Thirdly… this board will prepare such a curriculum which will teach children to stand on their feet so that when they are done with their education, their employment will be with themselves,” said Kejriwal.
Shailendra Sharma, principal advisor to the Directorate of Education, said the curriculum committee has submitted a set of recommendations till class VIII which are currently being studied. Curriculum for the secondary and senior secondary sections will need to be worked on now, he said.
The government had set up two committees last July — a committee for creation of a framework for a Delhi State Education Board, and a committee for the creation of a new curriculum for children up to the age of 14 years.
“With the board, we are working towards a new paradigm of assessment with concurrent continuous assessment throughout the school journey of a child,” said Sharma.
Kejriwal also mentioned on Saturday that in the new board, assessment will be continuous as opposed to assessment based on a final board examination.
“In the new curriculum, something we’ll be attempting to break is the stranglehold of a rigid syllabus to be completed within a year… If we break down a child’s learning into ‘what I know’, ‘what I understand’ and ‘what I can apply’, the current system is mostly about ‘what I know’. We want to fill that critical gap in knowledge acquisition, and also have a focus on attitudes,” said Sharma.