Aiming to make school students well-versed in technologies shaping the future, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to introduce artificial intelligence as an elective subject.
“The decision to introduce artificial intelligence as a skill subject was taken at a recent meeting of the board’s governing body. It has been decided that the subject would be introduced in classes 8, 9 and 10 as a skill subject,” a member of the board’s governing body said.
Artificial intelligence is the ability of a machine to think, learn and perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making skills. Capabilities demonstrated by machines, including computers, from playing chess to operating cars and beyond, fall within the domain of artificial intelligence.
With technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics and big data making a huge impact globally, it is important that the board modernises its curriculum to stay abreast of the latest developments, the governing body member said.
“Syllabus for the new subject would be drafted for all the three classes. If required, the board will also help in the capacity building of schools for the teaching-learning of the new subject from the next academic session,” the member said.
When contacted, a senior CBSE official confirmed the development. The official said AI would be one of the optional subjects on the vocational side.
According to the official, the idea of introducing artificial Intelligence as a school subject germinated from a session held at the NITI Aayog, the government’s policy think tank, following which the CBSE began exploring the concept.
“The board held consultations with stakeholders, including with a school that was already teaching the subject. Consequently, after comprehensive discussions, the board has decided to include artificial intelligence as an optional subject,” the official said.
The CBSE has 20,299 schools in India and 220 schools in 25 other countries affiliated to it.
In another significant decision, the CBSE has decided to use two sets of question papers — one easy and one standard — to test the ability of class 10 students in mathematics from the next academic session.
“The board will provide the students a choice to opt for easier or the more testing question paper. Students who do not wish to take up maths in higher studies can opt for the easier test. However, they too have the option of choosing applied mathematics as a subject in classes 11 and 12,” the official cited above.
In case a student who has opted for the easier test later decides to opt for the standard one,he or she will be allowed to do so in July, the official said, adding the board will soon release a detailed circular on the proposal.