State sets up international education board

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Syllabus will initially be used in 100 government schools

The State government has set up the Maharashtra International Education Board to oversee its foray into international schools.

“The idea is to upgrade existing government schools and provide the best quality education on par with the International Baccalaureate (IB) syllabus. Currently, we have chosen 100 government schools where this syllabus will be implemented. Eventually we plan to reach all schools,” Education Secretary Nand Kumar told The Hindu.

International standards

The State aims to train students for international exams like the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The syllabus is expected to be ready for implementation by 2018-19, Mr. Kumar said.

Though the State had earlier consulted with Cambridge Board for this, it chose to set up its own board so that schools have the freedom to deliver quality education. The board will operate from Pune.

Seven committees have already been set up for various tasks like framing the syllabus, project management, and training and development. The committee members have been appointed, but a formal announcement is likely to be made after the board is registered.

The board will monitor schools from nursery levels (four-eight age group) to Class XII (16-18 age group). As the board gains credence, the government expects private schools within and outside the State to seek affiliation. Though the board will be operate on a self-financed basis, it will receive funding of ₹2.25 crore from the education department. The board will oversee international educational standards in many languages, like English, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Gujarati and Kannada.

School closure

Mr. Kumar said the scheme to merge 1,314 small schools into bigger schools was part of this process. “People fail to understand us when we say that we are closing 1,031 small schools and shifting students to big schools to ensure better quality. Schools are not about buildings but about providing quality education,” he said.