Delhi govt inks pact with IB Board for new state board’s curriculum

According to the state government’s plan, the curriculum framework will be provided by IB while the Directorate of Education (DoE) will prepare the content as per the framework.
30 government schools will be affiliated to the new board in the first phase. Aptitude tests for admission to these schools will be held from August 23-29. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
30 government schools will be affiliated to the new board in the first phase. Aptitude tests for admission to these schools will be held from August 23-29. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 12, 2021 02:36 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Delhi government on Wednesday signed an agreement between the International Baccalaureate (IB) board to adopt its global curriculum framework for the upcoming Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE) and also develop a new assessment model.

“IB curriculum is a pedagogy of the highest international standards... It is a massive opportunity for students. The kind of education which kids of the richest of the families dream of will be made accessible to the underprivileged students of Delhi,” said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was joined by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev, and other education department officials, at the signing in ceremony.

According to the state government’s plan, the curriculum framework will be provided by IB while the Directorate of Education (DoE) will prepare the content as per the framework.

“We are starting out with 30 government schools, whose teachers will be trained by international experts and models for assessment of students will be developed by them. Under their guidance and assistance, the schools will be inspected, verified, and certified, to assess the shortcomings and how it can be improved. Gradually, more schools will be added to the programme, even private schools can get affiliated to DBSE,” Kejriwal said.


An IB official said the partnership will ensure “rich learning experiences” for educators. “This partnership entails that IB development workshops provide opportunities to engage in rich learning experiences for the school leaders and educators and serve as a tool to help schools meet professional requirements of the highest quality,” said Stefanie Leong, Head of Development and Recognition, Asia-Pacific, IB.

Last month, the Delhi government announced that out of the 30 schools identified for the new programme, 20 will be Schools of Specialised Excellence (SoSE) offering specialised education in four domains -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Humanities; Performing and Visual Arts; and “high- end 21st century skills” -- and the remaining 10 will be Sarvodaya schools.

On March 22, the Delhi cabinet approved setting up 100 schools of specialised excellence across the city for students of classes 9 to 12. The existing resource-rich government schools – including Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya and Schools of Excellence – have been converted into SoSE.

Role of IB Board

The IB board will work as a knowledge partner with DBSE which is also being provided technical and managerial support by Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Government officials said that the IB will provide the curriculum framework for the state board schools in addition to training its teachers, sharing best assessment practices, conducting seminars and workshops on global teaching-learning process, and conducting continuous reviews and inspections.

“More than 400 teachers in Sarvodaya schools and 250 teachers in SoSEs will be part of the professional development workshops by IB which will help in capacity building and upskilling. About 15,000 students studying in these schools will benefit from the collaboration with IB,” said a senior education department official.

IB has four dedicated programmes -- primary years programme (PYP), middle years programme (MYP), diploma programme (DP), and career-related programme (CP) -- for students aged 3-19 that can be adopted by any school upon gaining authorisation from the board. Sarvodaya schools will adopt PYP from nursery to Class 5 and MYP for classes 6 to 8, officials said, adding that the specialised schools (SoSEs) will run MYP for classes 9 and 10, and DP as well as CP for classes 11 and 12.

Admissions to SoSE

On Wednesday, DoE also released a circular stating that admissions to these schools will be on the basis of aptitude tests that will be conducted from August 23-29. Applications for the same can be downloaded from the education department’s website from August 12-19.

“Admissions shall be offered in Class 9 in all four types of SoSEs. For STEM SoSE, besides Class 9, admission will also be offered in Class 11. Students in any government or recognised schools of Delhi are eligible to apply for admission (along with valid residence proof),” DoE circular stated.

This means that students from private schools will be eligible to apply to these institutes, as against the earlier system which allowed only government school students to apply to the resource-rich government schools. However, the government has reserved 50% seats in each SoSE for students from government schools. “Reservation and age-related eligibility criteria for admission is as per norms of the Directorate,” the circular added.

According to the norms, students need to have a minimum aggregate of 60% in Class 8 to apply to these schools though applicants to schools of performing and visual arts can get a relaxation if they have received an award in any art form in a zonal level competition or above.

A minimum aggregate of 75% in Class 10 is required for admission in Class 11 of STEM schools where the best of five score should include science and maths.

These schools will have 30 students per section and each school is likely to have three-four sections in the first year, taking the class strength up to 90-120 students.

Reactions

Several government school principals HT spoke to welcomed the globalised teaching-learning process.

Ajay Choubey, head of school at RPVV Hari Nagar which will be a SoSE for STEM, said, “IB will help us with teacher training for a year to ensure that staff are able to teach the new curriculum. We are hoping to start teaching-learning from September first week. The present batch of classes 9 and 11 will also be given an option to either appear from the CBSE board or switch to DBSE. The students will easily transition to the new curricular framework as well as content if they wish to switch to the new board.”

However, the switch to IB has found a few detractors in the teaching community.

Ajay Veer Yadav, general secretary of the Government School Teachers’ Association (GSTA), said, “Instead of opening new schools, the government is busy renaming old schools. In 2016 too, the government had announced that 51 government schools would become model schools at par with private schools. Now they have come up with something else again. Dividing schools as per stream will be a failure because this will limit the number of schools for children.”

Meanwhile, officials of schools currently following the IB curriculum in Delhi said it will offer more opportunities to students.

“Public schools in countries like USA, South Korea, Spain, and Germany have entered into partnerships with IB as it is one of the most renowned international board. While boards like CBSE conduct exams in classes 10 and 12, IB board provides curriculum that works on the basis of constructivist theory which means that students construct their own knowledge through an inquiry-based process. Many of the principles stated in the new National Education Policy reflect with the curriculum provided by IB,” said a senior official from Apeejay School International in Sheikh Sarai, one of the well-known IB schools in Delhi, requesting not to be named.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kainat Sarfaraz covers education for Hindustan Times in Delhi. She also takes keen interest in reading and writing on the intersections of gender and other identities.

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