The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the national level board of education in India for public and private schools, controlled and managed by the Union Government of India, today announced the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the high school curriculum (Grade XI & XII) for the current academic year (2020 – 2021). Developed in collaboration with IBM (NYSE: IBM), the curriculum is part of CBSE’s Social Empowerment through Work Education and Action (SEWA) program and will be introduced in approximately 200 schools across 13 states in India (Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab).
The IBM AI curriculum is structured around a course framework for students consisting of base strands of knowledge (basics, history, applications), skills (design thinking, computational thinking, data fluency, critical thinking) and values (ethical decision making, bias) in AI. It is further made robust with problem-based learning outcomes and assessment methods for teachers, to build foundational skills of AI in students making them not just consumers of AI, but creators as well. To meet CBSE’s requirements for Grades XI & XII, the curriculum was co-developed with Australia’s Macquarie University and Indian implementation partners – Learning Links Foundation and 1M1B.
Shri. Manoj Ahuja, Chairperson, CBSE said, “AI will certainly become all-pervasive in our lives in coming years and it is important to inculcate the necessary skills & knowledge right from high school level. The unique proposition of the IBM AI curriculum is that it allows Grade XI & XII students from all streams, in addition to Computer Science, to build the foundation for themselves to be AI ready. This same ethos has been carried forward in our ‘AI for Better India’ initiative as well as ‘IBM EdTech Youth Challenge’ which helps break the myth around AI. With support from IBM, we are proud to lead the way for the nation by developing such an innovative training-based learning approach for students & teachers, while inspiring them to use AI for social good.”
The IBM AI Curriculum was launched in collaboration with CBSE in September 2019 with an aim to impart AI skills to 5000 Grade XI students and 1000 teachers across India. Following the program launch, a series of Principal Orientation and Teacher Training sessions were conducted between September 2019 and June 2020. As part of the partnership between IBM and CBSE for the AI Curriculum, trainings (online and classroom) for over 5000 students were conducted resulting in a cumulative 408 hours of training workshops.
Speaking at the launch event, Sandip Patel, General Manager, IBM India/South Asia said, “The question on the minds of educators and economists alike is how will technology impact jobs moving forward and how can we prepare our students to succeed in an increasingly automated, AI-driven world. The objective of our exciting collaboration with CBSE is to help address some of those challenges by designing one of the most accessible and comprehensive gateways for students to begin their AI journey. As they think through designing innovative solution to address key problems, we also get them deliberate about the ethical implications of the technology. The potential success of the IBM designed AI curriculum in our everyday lives can be glimpsed in the work showcased in this year’s ‘AI for Better India’ initiative. We congratulate the finalists and eagerly look forward to bring in a new generation of problem-solvers who will leverage AI to build a better world for everyone.”