FACED WITH the prospect of discontinuation of the CBSE-i curriculum in an abrupt manner, confused parents and school managements are now looking at ways to switch to a different board. Last week, a notification issued by the CBSE said that CBSE-i, a curriculum initiated as a pilot project in 2010-11, has run into several issues relating to operational difficulties, including availability of quality-reading material of a global standard and hence, from academic year 2017-2018, it was being discontinued. The schools affiliated to the CBSE-i have been instructed to apply for CBSE affiliation. Of the 50-odd schools across the country, two schools are from Pune.
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Undri’s RIMS International School has the larger student population of about 1,000 students while Pimpri’s SNBP School, about 300 students study in CBSE-i. The latter school also has a regular CBSE affiliation.
At SNBP School in Pimpri, principal Jayshree Venkatraman said the school is planning to get Camridge IGCSE affiliation. “We are not happy with the CBSE board’s decision to discontinue the international curriculum that we feel was far better in terms of pedagogy, assessments. However, parents have the option to continue with the CBSE board, as the school already holds regular CBSE classes. Meanwhile, those who want to continue with the international curriculum, can opt for the IGCSE board that we are planning to get affiliated to,” she said.
AT RIMS International School, Undri while school management will offer the regular CBSE board curriculum, parents are unhappy. On Saturday, a meeting has been scheduled by parents to forward a signature campaign to the Prime Minister. In fact, an online petition has already been started by angry parents who demand revoking the decision.
Aditi Somvanshi, one of the parents who signed the petition, said that she preferred the CBSE-i curriculum as it was more flexible and catered to individual learning styles of students. “The way that subjects are taught, teachers deal with topics and even overall personality development of students in terms of confidence building, public speaking and reading. The CBSE-i gives emphasis on practical learning and not rote-based learning, which is why we had preferred it. If we wanted to make our children study in traditional pattern, we would have opted for those schools and that’s why we are not at all happy with this decision of the CBSE board. But we are standing by our school as we know they will do best for our children,” she said.
Also, with barely a few months to go before the next academic year opens in April, not only does it leave little time for making the transition but also lessens planning for teachers, said parents. “We have confidence that the school will not make our children suffer but we are concerned if they themselves can handle this pressure. I’m sure that till now, their teachers have been following set lesson plans according to CBSE-i curriculum. Now, imagine that in two months, the teachers have to acquaint themselves with the CBSE curriculum and make lesson plans. Adding to this, there will be the pressure of board exams now. We are quite worried,” said another parent.
Kishor Pillai, academic director of RIMS International, said that on its part, the school is getting together with other CBSE-i schools to petition against this decision. While Pillai said the existing parents have been informed about the board’s decision and meeting is scheduled with them to alleviate their concerns, he agreed that it would impact the decision-making of prospective parents who might be looking at taking admissions for next year.
“Overall, I wouldn’t say that I agree with the board’s decision and it is very disappointing as the parents had taken well to CBSE-i. The reasoning, which the board gave, was unavailability of quality reading material and whenever faced such a problem. Importantly, none of the stakeholders, i.e. parents and managements of the 50-odd CBSE-i schools across India were consulted. We are going to protest this strongly,” he said.