CBSE yet to launch new courses

NEW DELHI APRIL 15. Over two years after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) started work on a special course for the Indian diaspora, the lessons on "desi'' culture may have to wait. With the CBSE spending an "extensive' amount of time on preparing the text for the NRI population, the Board is planning to introduce only two languages -- Malayalam and Gujarati -- this year.

Originally meant to impart courses on Indian languages and culture, the international cell of the CBSE has as of now managed to cover only two of the six languages that it had earlier proposed. And even those are yet to really begin.

Although enrolment for the course was meant to begin in July 2001, the CBSE seems to have taken a rather long time to formulate the curriculum.

According to the CBSE director of academics, G. Balasubramanian, the courses will be made available to the NRI population soon. "The actual time of launch is not yet clear. But the course material and other such requirements are complete, making it possible for us to launch the courses any time now,'' he said.

The CBSE decided to introduce courses on Indian culture and languages following requests from the diaspora segment.

An international cell was constituted to come out with courses that could provide an appreciation of the rich and diverse Indian culture and language through experimental learning and to help youngsters learn about Indian languages and culture at their own pace and convenience.

Targeted at all Indian national schools abroad as well as national schools of all countries, the courses as of now have no age restrictions or prior qualifications. The CBSE is hoping to cover languages like Bengali, Tamil, Sanskrit as well as Gurmukhi and Hindi too later.

The course will be available in three different levels of competency including the foundation course Parichaya, the functional level Prabodh and the proficiency level Praveen.

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