India's premier school board CBSE on Tuesday began a new journey in this emerging global education hub by launching an updated international syllabus to cater to students of both the Indian diaspora and local community.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, who is on an official visit to the UAE, launched CBSE-International curriculum at the Indian High School in Dubai.
The new syllabus seeks to address the students' aspirations for knowledge from an international prospective. It also gives the local flavour by giving lessons on local issues and local culture.
Sibal expressed the hope that the CBSE-I would grow and provide an alternative international curriculum to the students of both of the Indian diaspora and to local citizens in the countries where CBSE-I is being made available.
The CBSE, which has been affiliating schools here, now aims at spreading its chain of schools in foreign countries. Its earlier curriculum was giving more focus on Indian issues in social science subjects.
This was a major problem in expanding its network as foreign students were not developing interest to study in this system.
"We need a globalised community of children. There is need for quality education for all children, with learning being a continuous and comprehensive process," Sibal said.
The CBSE-I curriculum is being subscribed by 30 schools in nine countries. It aims to promote critical and creative thinking skills, effective communication skills, interpersonal and collaborative skills and information and media skills.
There is an inbuilt flexibility as it provides a foundation and an extension curriculum in all subject areas to cater to the different pace of learners.
The objective of CBSE is to introduce the curriculum in a phased manner at different levels in schools affiliated to it. The international curriculum has been designed keeping in view the experience gathered by the Board over the last seven decades in imparting effective learning to millions of learners.
Addressing an India-UAE forum on knowledge economy, Sibal said said that India will be the youngest nation in the world by 2050.
Around that time, population in countries such as Germany, Japan and Australia would have declined and the global community will face a human resource meltdown.
"If you look at the demographics of the world, Europe, Japan, Australia, the US and even China with the one-child policy, you will realise that by 2050 there is going to be an enormous deficit of the global workforce in those regions of the world," he said.
India today has about 540 million people less than 25 years of age, which is more than the entire population of Europe.