The Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE) signed an MoU with International Baccalaureate (IB) on Wednesday to implement IB programmes in 30 government schools this year, including 20 of its new Schools of Specialised Excellence (SOSE). These schools are also the initial set in which the new education board will be piloted.
According to a Delhi government official, admission applications for the 20 SOSEs will begin Thursday.
The IB programme will be introduced from class IX to XII in the SOSEs and from nursery to class VIII in 10 Sarvodaya Vidyalayas in East Delhi. Admissions will be done only for class IX for the SOSEs, except those specialising in STEM where admissions will also be done to class XII.
Of these 20 SOSEs, eight schools would specialise in STEM, five schools in Humanities, and High-end 21st Century Skills, and two schools will specialise in Performing and Visual Arts. In this session, there will be 1,920 seats on offer at STEM schools, 600 at Humanities schools, 600 at high-end 21st Century Skills schools, and 240 at Performing and Visual Arts schools.
As per a document shared with teachers, admissions to the SOSEs will be conducted through an aptitude and interest test and “interface, where necessary”.
The IB is a private international education board with its Foundation Office in Geneva. It has around 5,000 schools globally. There are currently 193 IB schools in India, all of which are top-end elite private schools. The Indian Express had earlier reported on the Delhi government’s interest in collaborating with it and of the IB’s proposal to the Delhi government on how this can be implemented.
Speaking at the MoU exchange ceremony, Chief Minister Kejriwal said: “It’s almost like a dream for us… I’m very happy that education in Delhi government schools in the last six years has undergone a complete transformation…. Now we were standing at a juncture where we had to improve what is being taught, how it is being taught, and we had to prepare our children up to international standards. The IB is a body that the best of the students of our country long to be guided by, to be affiliated or associated with… I’m glad that the knowledge and experience of IB will be available to poor students of Delhi. And perhaps it will be a unique experience for IB also. Till now for IB, perhaps wherever you have gone all around the world, you always used to get the best of the students and the best of the schools. But now by signing this agreement, you are becoming a knowledge partner with a government board where the poorest of the poor students study. IB and the government will get the opportunity to together groom the poorest students to international standards.”
Kejriwal said the programme will be scaled up in the future and private schools will also be able to be affiliated with the board.
According to a Department of Education factsheet, the collaboration entails the schools’ gaining from the IB’s teaching-learning approaches across its programmes, assessment practices, teacher training and from the IB’s monitoring of school programme readiness.
A senior Delhi government official said students of these schools will be issued joint certification by the IB and the Delhi board when they complete schooling.
Introducing IB is an expensive project: just the fees for application of candidacy for these 30 schools is over Rs 50 lakh after a 75% discount, and the professional development fees estimated by the IB for 594 teachers across these schools is over Rs 54 lakh after a 20% discount.
Existing Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas (RPVV) and Schools of Excellence are being converted into the SOSEs. A significant shift in admissions is that only students from government schools were admitted to RPVVs, while admissions to SOSEs are open to private school students who are residents of Delhi. The medium of instruction in the SOSEs will be English, and a regional language will be offered in classes IX and X.