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Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Experts say students should look for a curriculum that emphasises on developing transferable skills such as problem solving, collaboration, leadership, creativity and so on.

Abu Dhabi: Success in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has long been the highest achievement for Indian schoolchildren worldwide, with toppers gaining instant recognition and fame.

The examination board, organised in its current form since 1952, is offered by more than 20,300 schools around the world, with nearly 3 million students attempting its Grade 10 and Grade 12 exams each year. In 2018, about 16,000 students appeared for the board exams from the UAE alone.

But the long-standing curriculum has recently come under fire, with critics saying that it has remained static and failed to prepare today’s children for the demands of the future workforce. Many parents have expressed their concern that the curiculum has been catering in the same manner over generations and that they see little discernible difference in the way they learnt at school and the manner in which their children now are studying the curriculum.

The system’s focus on rote learning and memorisation, its allegedly dated examination methods and a failure to update topics and themes are the biggest points of censure for many parents.


appeared for CBSE board exams from UAE in 2018.

A survey conducted by community engagement portal LocalCircles, based in India, received 42,000 votes, and 78 per cent of those polled agreed that the curriculum needs “lots of upgrades”.

Forty-one per cent of respondents believe that the curriculum most needs to include hands-on learning opportunities, while 30 per cent felt that it is most important to include life skills training.

A whopping 88 per cent of respondents also called upon curriculum developers to allow for skills-based training from Grade 9 onwards for non-academically-inclined students.


agreed that CBSE needs ‘upgrades’

In the UAE, seats at CBSE-curriculum schools are still highly sought-after, not least because of the affordable fee structure provided by most institutions.

Gulf News spoke to educators and parents in the UAE to determine just how much change they think is necessary for the board.

(Source: LocalCircles, is a leading Community Social Media platform based in India across 200 cities conducted a survey in 2018 to understand what people feel about the current school education system in India and what could be done to improve it.)