Even as we step into 2019, the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is still a vague concept to many. Artificial Intelligence can loosely be defined as a computer system’s ability to perform tasks that would usually require human intelligence. Computer systems today are being developed to be able to perceive visually, recognize speech, translate languages and even make phone calls. With Amazon’s Alexa, artificial intelligence has now reached households. Thus to make the next generation really “tech-savvy”, we need to bring changes now. With this very thought, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has taken the decision to include Artificial Intelligence as a school subject.
It seems that the CBSE will be the first board to include new age technology as part of the school curriculum and syllabus in India. Information Technology is a rapidly growing subject and not easy to understand. But almost all professions of the times require some use of this technology. If the students are well-versed with the subject from the school itself, understanding it in totality, later on, will become easy.
A CBSE official said that the board has taken this decision after getting inspired by a NITI Aayog workshop on the subject of government policy think tank. After consultations and discussions with stakeholders and schools, the CBSE took the decision to include the subject as an optional one in the school curriculum.
In a recent meeting of the board’s governing body, the decision was taken that Artificial Intelligent will be included as a skill subject in classes VIII, IX and X. India is among the top 15 countries in the AI-race. To update the school syllabus according to the needs of the hour, this decision has been taken.
The Indian Education system often comes under the scanner for still using age-old curriculum and syllabus. Thus such a move was required to make our students come to practical terms with innovations and technology of the times. Well-known educationist Ameeta Mutta Wallal is also the principal of Sprindales School in New Delhi. When asked the CBSE’s decision, she opined that technology that affects day-to-day life should become a part of the school curriculum. This will help the children identify and connect with the present and the future.
Asked if teaching such subjects in a traditional school atmosphere can become a challenge or not, Wallal says that introducing anything new in a school scenario is never a smooth process. It goes through a series of preliminary obstacles before adjusting into the curriculum. In this case that may happen. It may also happen that students will take it up with interest as most Indian children today seem highly interested in matters that involve a computer or a smartphone.
Wallal adds that the inclusion of a subject like Artificial Intelligence will mold the right outlook children should have towards technology. Currently, there are 20,299 schools in India affiliated to the CBSE. There are 220 CBSE schools across 25 foreign countries as well. This move seems to usher in a new era in the Indian Education System. The CBSE is proving to be a trend-setter with the introduction of technical subjects in middle school.