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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Delhi’s own education board: Principals, students welcome DBSE; parents’ associations concerned

For many, the state board is much needed as many could not afford the CBSE curriculum due to its huge expenses, and thus the dropout rate increased

Written by Arnab Mitra | New Delhi |
Updated: March 17, 2021 11:48:10 am
Delhi A 1200In this first year, 20-25 government schools will be brought under this board, Arvind Kejriwal said. Representational image/ gettyimages.in

The Arvind Kejriwal government has announced the setting up of Delhi Board of School Education (DBSE), with primary goals to produce “kattar deshbhakt (staunch patriots)”, “good people” and to prepare students to not be reliant on the job market for employment. In this first year, around 20-25 government schools will be brought under this board, CM Kejriwal said.

While a separate education board for Delhites has been largely accepted by the educationists, there are also questions and concerns about its functioning. A section of educationists said that the state board was much-needed given the “exorbitant” fee of CBSE boards, which, they believed, have also led to an increase in the dropout rate. At the same time, many opined that the new board will dilute the education system and will not be at par with the national boards.

All schools in Delhi are affiliated to CBSE while only one is under Council For The Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).

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The principal of a government Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Awadhesh Jha, said the new board will be beneficial for students as, apart from 1700 private schools in the Capital, there are 1,035 government schools where students from poor economical background study and cannot afford CBSE schools, their exam fees, and relative charges. Jha said the new state board as proposed will make students self-employable and prepare them for entrepreneurial skills.

Apart from the government, some private schools have also given a thumbs up to a separate education board. Though the principal of DAV Public School, Pushpanjali Enclave supported the DBSE, it is concerned about its functionality.

According to Rashmi Raj Biswal, an independent education board will give Delhi a unique and independent identity and a thrust to quality education. “The need is paramount as the clientele which reaches out to these schools need parity. But then it comes with a responsibility of creating a robust curriculum, good technical and structural infrastructure, efficient and tech-savvy staff, an easily implementable schedule and strong accountability,” she said.

Biswal also referred to this year’s Delhi budget where 24 per cent was allocated for education. “The vision seems to be broad and conscious steps to implement the same will certainly alter the horizon of the learned and the learner both,” she added.

Students and parents are also in support of the government’s move. Shiksha Desai, a student of Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, said her parents — both wage labourers — cannot afford CBSE exam fees. The Class 10 exam fee is Rs 1,500 to 1,800 while for class 12 students, it ranges between Rs 1,500 to 2,400.

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She said her seniors have registered for the Uttar Pradesh Board where the exam fee is Rs 600 for both classes 10 and 12. “I have also decided to take admission in the nearby UP school next year. The news of a new board has come as a relief to me. The education board will be functional next year and I can happily appear in the first batch.” Shiksha lives with her parents in the bordering areas in East Delhi’s New Ashok Nagar.

Parents associations, meanwhile, have voiced concerns. The president of the Delhi Parents; Association Aprajita Gautam said the DBSE should follow the NCERT curriculum like the national boards. “When it comes to entrance exams, CBSE students have an edge over state board students, therefore, the Delhi board students should follow NCERT books,” he said.

Meanwhile, All India Parents Association national president Ashok Agarwal said the formation of the education board does not make sense as it is the CBSE model that has worked for Delhi students. “The CBSE follows a standard pattern which most schools have followed successfully. I don’t understand the need for a separate board and why would private schools in the Capital want to adopt the state board when they are already switching to international boards like IGCSE, IB.”

Moreover, students from the border districts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana take admissions to Delhi government schools to get a CBSE certificate as it gets weightage colleges admissions as well as jobs across the country, Agarwal said.

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