The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made key changes for the new academic session of 2019-20, and has written a letter to all the parents of students enrolled under it saying that it will now focus on skills-oriented learning.
Even as elections are on, the national level board of education, controlled and managed by the Centre, has written a detailed letter to the parents listing its achievements by quoting the National Assessment Survey of 2017-18, which says the "competency of CBSE students is above the national average, yet there is scope for improvement."
Some major decisions taken by the CBSE include compulsory Art Education and sports period, introduction of new subjects -- Artificial Intelligence (AI), Early Childhood Care Education and Yoga -- in the school curriculum, and two levels of examinations in Mathematics for secondary classes.
"The Board has even incorporated culinary art for the students of classes 6 to 8 (including lessons on cooking) while making art integration a cross-cutting theme across all disciplines," the letter said.
A podcast for parents, students and the public - "CBSE-Shiksha Vani" -- has also been launched to provide "interesting information about the Board's activities and directions or guidelines from time to time."
While introducing compulsory sports, games or Yoga period every day for each class, CBSE chairman Anita Karwal in the letter said: "There is evidence that physical activity leads to long lasting changes in brain wiring... Worldwide research has proven that the practice of Yoga reduces cortisol levels, thereby raising the immunity of the body."
Among the major decisions is that students in Class 10 will have two options when sitting for Maths exams: A basic-level test for those who do not wish to pursue it and a standard level for those who want to study it at the senior secondary level.
The board has also modified assessment and evaluation patterns while subjects like Mathematics, languages, political science and legal studies have been assigned 20 marks for internal assessment in Class 12. "School based assessments have assumed greater significance for the Board exams from now on," it said.