Delhi government on March 6 announced its decision to set up a state level school education board called the Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE), which incidentally will be the first ever state level school examinations board for the national capital city-state of Delhi. Currently all secondaries (high schools) and senior secondaries (10+2 schools) in Delhi—1028 government schools and 1700 + private and other schools—are either affiliated to CBSE (Central board of secondary education) or other national and international boards.
The decision to set up Delhi’s new education board was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister. The government has set aside Rs 62 crore to set up a separate state board of education.
The new state board will be chaired by education minister and will be overseen by a governing body. Its everyday activities will be coordinated by an executive body headed by a CEO. To start with, 20-25 Delhi government schools will be affiliated to DBSE from the 2021-22 academic session and according to chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal all the state-run and private schools will come under the new board within four to five years. The CM said at a virtual press conference that the decision about the government schools to be affiliated with the DBSE will be taken after consultations with principals, teachers and parents concerned. However, private schools in the national capital will continue to have an option to get affiliated to the DBSE.
Announcing the board in Delhi, Chief Minister said that the board will “bring revolutionary changes in the education system of Delhi”, thereby “taking Delhi to new heights. Obliquely taking a dig at CBSE’s exam centric reputation, he added, “focus will not be on learning by rote. It will be on understanding (of concepts) and personality development.” CM Kerjiwal said that the government decided to set up its own school board as the next step of “experiments” like introduction of ‘happiness’ and entrepreneurship curricula, training of school teachers and principles being done in the education field. “We have not decided to set up our own school board just because we are in the government. This board will achieve three goals– to produce ‘kattar deshbhakt (staunch patriots)’, ‘good people’ and to prepare students to not be reliant on the job market for employment.” He added that the board will be of international standards and cooperation will be sought from various global bodies. The government has studied best practices at international levels and will bring them to the board and schools in Delhi.
- Students to be ready to take responsibility of the country
- Students to forget the difference between religions, caste, and the rich and the poor, and become good people.
- To get children ready to provide employment, not seek it.
Talking to a news channel, education minister Manish Sisodia elaborated, “Our present education system focuses on rote learning. This has to change. Our focus will no longer be on rote learning but on understanding. Rather than a three-hour exam at the end of every year, students will be assessed throughout the whole year. This will be an international-level board. International study practices have been researched and these will be brought into our schools.”
Taking a political aim at BJP, which as many people think through a troll army discredit dissent and opposition, the Delhi CM used ‘ students being staunch patriotic’ as one of the goals of new board. Some people definitely see it as a welcome change.
The opposition BJP has criticized the move saying it will deprive city students of international competition. “Central Board of Secondary Education is an internationally acclaimed education board, and by quitting it, forming a separate board for Delhi schools, Kejriwl government is denying Delhi students international competition,” said BJP Delhi state president Adesh Gupta.
Ashok Agarwal, lawyer activist and president All India Parents Association (AIPA) too has criticized the decision, “By constituting Delhi School Education Board, AAP’s Delhi Govt has played biggest fraud on children of poor. Poor parents won’t mind paying CBSE but they would not prefer to send their wards to non CBSE affiliated school.”
While the just announced DBSE has a long way to go to establish and prove itself, nevertheless, it has already sent a signal for other boards to pull up their socks.