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Will a More International Curriculum Help Indian Students?

September 26, 2011
School students showing their excitement on new proposal
Indian parents who seek a global touch for their child's education no longer have to look over the border.

In a major leap for India's education system the country's Central Board of Secondary Education has decided to go international with a brand new curriculum.

Indian education has often been criticized for focusing on rote learning rather than problem solving. Experts say the curriculum in most schools is outdated and disconnected from the actual world.

Randeep Kaur, education adviser at Plan India, a New Delhi-based children's organization, said most Indian students learned only with the aim of scoring marks but never with the intention of understanding and enhancing their knowledge. "How many of them (students) can actually make use of what they had learned?" she asked.

The new program of study, called the CBSE-i will put less emphasis on methods such as memorization and greater focus on developing analytical and communication skills. Although it will only be available in a handful of schools to begin with, should it prove successful, it's destined to be introduced in a growing number of schools.

Anjali Chhabra, education officer at the CBSE in New Delhi told India Real Time that subjects will be taught with a more global perspective. For instance, when it comes to history there will be more space for world history, rather than just Indian history, as is the case in the regular curriculum.

At the same time, students will also be encouraged to learn outside the confines of the classroom. "Instead of simply studying the history of India, students will get a chance to explore the city or state in which they live," she said.