Delhi: New school board to bank on AI for assessment

By, New Delhi
Mar 31, 2021 12:51 PM IST

"DBSE will employ modern technology to ensure personalised learning experience for our students," deputy CM Manish Sisodia said.

The Delhi government plans to introduce the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and game-based techniques for continuous assessment of students under its new state school education board, officials said after the board’s first general body meeting on Tuesday.

The Delhi cabinet approved the Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE) on March 6.(HT Photo)
The Delhi cabinet approved the Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE) on March 6.(HT Photo)

The Delhi cabinet approved the Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE) on March 6. The society for the board was registered on March 19. The board is likely to be operational for up to at least the middle-school level (up to Class 8) from the upcoming academic session.

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Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia, who is the head of the board, said students will be assessed holistically on the basis of their knowledge, attitude, and skills. “DBSE will employ effective modern technology available today to ensure a personalised learning experience for our students. AI and game-based assessments will be put to use to create a system where every student is regularly evaluated on the basis of their strengths...,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Shailendra Sharma, the principal advisor to the directorate of education (DoE), said the new education board will focus on assessing students on the basis of their skills and not just classroom learning. “Conventionally, board assessments are designed as pen-and-paper tests only. They test subject knowledge which is to be recalled by students during one exam. But in this day and age, we also need to assess the application of knowledge, the extent of understanding, and attitudes like empathy, teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving abilities,” he said.

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The board will use AI to provide teachers with real-time learning feedback. Under game-based assessments, students will be given situations or be involved in activities to evaluate their skills and understanding.

Sharma said the government will also look at assessment models used abroad. “The purpose of setting up the Delhi board is not to replicate the existing models. We are basically looking at how assessment can complement the teaching-learning process in class across all grades. This is why we will explore the most contemporary models followed across the globe,” he added.

Educationalist Meeta Sengupta said that while the use of AI and game-based tools in assessment will be “a refreshing change”, it will not be without its challenges. “It’s also an incredibly complex process where one has to be very careful about ethics and empathy. It should be used without intruding on privacy and without making bad assumptions.”

Principals of several government schools too welcomed the idea. Awadesh Kumar Jha, head of Sarvodaya co-ed Vidyalaya in Rohini, said, “There is a requirement of reforms in the existing assessment process. We need to evaluate students holistically in order to make them understand their strengths and weaknesses. The game-based assessment will of great help, especially for the younger students.”

Aparajita Gautam, president of the Delhi Parents Association, said that the government should create awareness about changes it was planning to bring in the education system among parents . “It is a great idea. But the government needs to inform parents about it by roping in the school management committees. These are things that parents might not understand easily,” she said.

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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a principal correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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