In a first-ever comprehensive initiative, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the high school curriculum for the current academic year (2020 – 2021).
Offered for Grades XI & XII across 13 states in India, the AI curriculum has been developed in collaboration with IBM and will be a part of CBSE’s Social Empowerment through Work Education and Action (SEWA) program.
It will be introduced in approximately 200 schools across the states Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.
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The IBM AI curriculum is structured around a course framework for students and will consist of the following areas:
- Base strands of knowledge such as basics, history, applications
- Skills such as design thinking, computational thinking, data fluency, critical thinking
- and Values including ethical decision making, the bias in AI.
It will be 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.
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, training (online and classroom) for over 5000 students were conducted resulting in a cumulative 408 hours of training workshops
“AI will certainly become all-pervasive in our lives in the 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,” said Manoj Ahuja, Chairperson, CBSE.
IBM and CBSE also announced the 2020 IBM EdTech Youth Challenge to encourage teams of students and teachers to leverage emerging technologies including cloud, AI, Blockchain to solve existing or imminent problems that society is facing.
The final winners of this challenge stand a chance to get a two-week internship & mentorship experience from senior leaders at IBM as well as opportunities to participate in national or international hackathons or conferences.
IBM and CBSE also announced the winners of the 2020 ‘AI for better India’ hackathon focussed on leveraging AI to solve real-world problems. IBM mentors from the software labs were instrumental in empowering students with industry skills to ideate, design, build solutions and present to clients.
Of the 464 AI project submissions received, 103 projects submitted by 260 students were selected for expert mentoring by IBM mentors. These projects were onboarded to the HackerEarth mentorship platform as part of the ‘AI for Better India’ challenge by IBM. The finalists graduate to 2020 IBM EdTech Youth Challenge.
“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,” added Ahuja.
“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,” said Sandip Patel, General Manager, IBM India/South Asia.
He further added, “As they think through designing an 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 bringing in a new generation of problem-solvers who will leverage AI to build a better world for everyone.”