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Maha schools going Global

Concerned with the falling standards of education in government schools, the Maharashtra government – the first state in the country to decide to give a leg up to the learning process in the public schooling system – has identified 100 schools to provide syllabus identical to various international boards for a better future

In the recent years, the standard of education in government schools across the country has hit a new low. Therefore, to improve the teaching-learning standards in the government sector, the Maharashtra government took a major decision to provide quality education on par with international standards.

The Maharashtra government took the first initiative in this direction and formed an autonomous body named Maharashtra International Education Board (MIEB) to oversee the implementation of education on international standards for the benefit of thousands of students in 100 government schools across the state on a pilot basis.

The body has been mandated to decide on the curriculum for the schools and the examination process.

MIEB is the second Board in the state to deal with school education. The other board is the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE).

Starting from 2019-20 academic year, 100 government schools currently in operation, will get affiliated to MIEB and start imparting education on international standards.

Initially, however, 10 of the 100 government schools will be shortlisted to function as model schools called ‘Ojas’. Each Ojas school will help nine other schools to upgrade themselves as international schools. They in turn will assist the remaining 90 schools to transform themselves into international schools called ‘Tejas’.

Under the supervision of the Board headquartered in Pune, these international schools will offer syllabi with a global vision to students from nursery to grade 12 levels. This idea is to help these chosen students who couldn’t otherwise afford internationallevel education. Maharashtra’s aim is to train students for international exams like the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

The governing council of MIEB is headed by Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde.

Speaking on the roadmap of the Board, Tawde said, “MIEB will have the autonomy to take every decision related to the international schools. MIEB will be an autonomous body that will design curriculum for schools and conduct examinations. The Board will help students who can’t afford an international-level education at private schools. Schools identified for this project are the existing government schools. The state has also formed a 12-member monitoring and management committee to oversee the Board’s activities.”

On a positive note, Nand Kumar, Principal Secretary, holding charge of School Education Department and Sports in Maharashtra said, “We have designed the MIEB with an aim to educate the children on international standards. Developed countries or OECD countries are defining what education is and they are defining on the basis of how the world will change. World is changing faster than expected with the beginning of the internet era. Every citizen is a global citizen today and it is time for everyone to adapt to the global village system.

” Speaking about the skills, Nand Kumar says, “The 21st century skills are the need of the hour. Such skills has been identified and listed out. The four most crucial skills are collaboration skills, creative skills, critical thinking and problem solving. By exposing the child to such skills, the MIEB will identify whether the skills have been developed or not.” Further, discussing on the future of the Board, Nand Kumar said, “This initiative will be a success. The kind of people who are coming together, gives very good sign for the future of the Board. The people involved in this are very creative and are global citizens. The Board will follow their suggestions and guidance. At present, we have started with 100 government schools and we will soon scale up the project as private schools are also interested to be a part of it. The Board will really have a great future.”

Giving insights into the functioning of the new Board, Francis Joseph, Co founder of School Leaders Network Foundation, said he is a member of the steering and management committees of MIEB.

Discussing on the initiative and the curriculum framework, Francis Joseph said the MIEB schools will gradually allow any school in the state or country or overseas to get affiliated to the Board.

“But in the first academic year it will affiliate only 100 public schools from outside Mumbai, but from within the state of Maharashtra. It is in its pilot phase. In the first phase the medium of instruction in these schools is the mother tongue (Marathi), but high quality English will be taught in all these schools,” he said.

He, however, said that in future, MIEB proposes to offer instructions in other languages also.

Stating that this is the first major privatepublic initiative in the education sector, Francis said quite a few school leaders of private schools are involved in the pilot project right www. magazine.com 22 April 18 Special Report from the designing stage to even developing of the curriculum framework and training.

As part of the process, the Board proposes to evaluate individual schools under the programme based on their leadership capabilities, their vision, teaching strategies that teachers have displayed, and the pedagogical practices, which are a huge area of evaluation, he said.

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