Sharpening its focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Education) education, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), in collaboration with Intel’s AI4Youth initiative, has finally released its Facilitators Handbooks to provide artificial intelligence (AI) based education to grade 8 and grade 9 students.
The CBSE had announced AI as a skill subject in March 2019 in order to develop an “AI-Ready Generation”. The new course will be added to the regular school curriculum by 2020 to help students understand AI and develop their interest in it.
The Facilitator’s handbook for AI Curriculum will focus on three domains of AI — computer vision, natural language processing and the use of AI for data. The 112-hour curriculum will focus on developing relevant skills set among students to facilitate AI mindset.
During the course, students are expected to learn core skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, self-reflection, and developing knowledge on AI ethics, privacy concerns and AI basics.
The handbook also suggests how schools can train their teachers of grades 6 to 10 to relate to the relevant topics from the curriculum with technologies that AI deploys.
CBSE Partners With Microsoft And IBM
To train teachers in AI curriculum and other tech-related circulars in school, CBSE had also partnered with global tech giants Microsoft and IBM. Through these partnerships, CBSE is looking to reskill teachers to push its plan of creating a tech and AI-ready generation.
Microsoft is conducting capacity building programmes for high school teachers to integrate cloud-powered technology in K12 teaching to enable digital teaching skills. The programme primarily focuses on teachers of grades 8 to 10 and is being conducted in 10 cities across the country.
Around one thousand teachers nominated by CBSE are being trained to access the latest information and communication technology (ICT) tools, which will help them integrate technology into the curriculum.
The teachers will be further taught digital storytelling, creation of personalised learning experiences for diverse learners, how to leverage AI tools to create bots and how to demystify concepts around AI through course curriculum.
Meanwhile, the IBM partnership focuses especially on building the implementation on AI circular among postgraduate teachers and students in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar.
CBSE’s Move To Incorporate New-age Technology
The Indian government had allocated more than $480 Mn under the Digital India initiative in the Union Budget last year, and CBSE’s move to incorporate new-age technology lessons for AI and other digital skills in the curriculum is in line with the same.
According to an Accenture report, the AI sector has the potential to add $957 Bn to India’s GDP and boost annual growth by 1.3% by 2035. However, it also points out that the lack of talent will be a big issue. AI education at the school level is an attempt on solving this crunch.
CBSE also provides other skill development courses for grades 11 and 12, these include information technology, web application, automotive, geospatial technology, electrical technology, electronic technology and medical diagnostics, among others.
For 9 and 10 grade, CBSE has introduced courses on Introduction To Financial Markets, Banking & Insurance, Health Care, Marketing & Sales and Food Production, among others.