Indian schools, including those in the UAE, have been directed to stop offering the CBSE-i (CBSE-International) curriculum from the 2017-18 school year, which begins in April for Indian schools.
In a January 31 circular by the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) in India, those CBSE-affiliated schools located outside India that were authorised to offer the CBSE-i curriculum, have now been instructed to discontinue it.
“Consequently, affected students of such schools on their promotion to next class (after the end of the existing term) would be shifted to CBSE main curriculum,” the circular said.
An official in the council for CBSE-affiliated schools in the Gulf region told Gulf News on Thursday that there are only a handful — around six or seven — schools in the UAE that offer CBSE-i.
“After March 31, when the new [Indian] academic year starts in April, CBSE-i schools will simply continue, following the instructions of the main CBSE,” he said. The official added there is “no [transition] process as such”.
Launched in 2010 as a pilot project, CBSE-i stems from the main CBSE with an added focus on an “internationally benchmarked curriculum”. It had espoused dedicated classrooms, syllabus and staff for teaching the course, which is based on the main CBSE curriculum.
A leading academic from a popular Indian school in the UAE that used to offer CBSE-i, said: “CBSE-i didn’t take off when it was launched, because the right content wasn’t there. That created a vacuum where some of the boards did not recognise it. They were giving CBSE certificates when, technically, it should have been CBSE-i certificates.”
The academic, who did not want to be named, added: “I think the issue has been corrected now, because if something isn’t working, it should be discontinued. Ultimately, the content, and the infrastructure for the content, wasn’t there. The CBSE’s content comes from the NCERT [National Council for Educational Research and Training] but CBSE was sort of making its own content for CBSE-i, ‘in house’. But it didn’t develop well enough.”