Schools give thumbs up to Artificial Intelligence, yoga from class 8, in a fix over educators

Schools in the city give thumbs up to the recent decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) of introducing subjects like ‘Artificial Intelligence’, ‘yoga’ and ‘early childhood education’ from class 8 onwards terming it to be the need of the hour. However, many share the same concerns when it comes to teaching these subjects. Academicians feel that due to the prevailing fee cap issue in the state, having specialised teachers to teach these subjects might not be feasible.

A total of 42 electives are introduced by the board. AI, Yoga and child education development being the latest ones and automotive, financial marketing among others. The circular by CBSE said, “An AI ‘inspire module’ of 12 hours will be introduced for class 8 students. AI will be the power that will fuel the future global digital economy and the move is aimed to make India’s next generation to be AI ready.”

Under the early childhood education subject, students will be prepared to teach children of nursery and Kindergarten classes through systems of child-centric education.

While Manan Choksi, Managing Executive Director, Udgam School for Children welcomes the decision of the board, he feels that as long as the board takes care of training teachers for these subjects, all will be fine. “Introducing such subjects from class 8 is a good decision as it gives students a feel of subjects and more clarity on what they want to pursue in higher education. While schools do not have specified teachers for AI, the board has committed to train those teachers. Till they do not do so, we would work with visiting faculty.” he said.

When asked about charges to offer such subjects amidst the prevailing fee issue, he said, “We will have to charge from the students who opt for the same. Our priority will be first to train our teachers.”

A teacher who teaches computer in high school requesting anonymity said that it will be quite early to introduce AI to students. “I fear the pressure would be on computer teachers rather than bringing experts on AI for the students,” the teacher said.

Said Surender Sachdeva, principal, Delhi Public School, Bopal said, ” In school, it is basic studies which are mastered in higher education. Whereas the basic qualification of early childhood teachers is class 12 and a diploma in education. Since all graduate teachers are not qualified to handle pre-primary or KG students, the National Curriculum Framework talks about early childhood courses for nursery education. It is a welcome step to catch teachers young to be qualified to teach KG or nursery children.”

When asked him the need to recruit specialised teachers, he said, “Teachers will not be an issue but specific syllabus is needed.”

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