Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar released the new CBSE Affiliation Bye-laws in New Delhi. The minister informed that the affiliation byelaws of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have been completely revamped to ensure speed, transparency, hassle-free procedures and ease of doing business with the CBSE.
The HRD Minister had earlier this year, directed the Board to completely revisit its affiliation bye laws to make the system more robust and quality driven. While highlighting the main changes, Prakash Javadekar said that the new byelaws denote a major shift from the highly complex procedures followed earlier, to a simplified system based on preventing duplication of processes.
CBSE is a national level Board conducting examinations for Classes X and XII. It affiliates schools across India and abroad upon fulfilment of various conditions as prescribed in its Affiliation Bye Laws. At present 20783 schools are affiliated with the Board. The Affiliation Byelaws in position were first made in the year 1988 and were last modified in the year 2012.
Javadekar informed that one of the salient features of the revised bye laws rests on the fact that there is duplication of processes at CBSE and state government level. For issuing recognition under RTE Act and NOC, the state education administration verifies various certificates to be obtained from local bodies, revenue department, cooperatives department, etc. The CBSE re-verifies them after applications are received. This is very long drawn process. Therefore, to prevent this duplication, schools will now be required to submit only two documents at the time of applying for affiliation, instead of 12-14 documents being submitted earlier: one would be a document vetted by the head of district education administration validating all aspects such as building safety, sanitation, land ownership, etc, and another would be a self-affidavit where the school would certify its adherence to fee norms, infrastructure norms, etc.
As a result of this major change the Board shall not revisit any of the aspects vetted by the state during inspection and the delay due to scrutiny and non-compliance of deficiencies in these documents shall be drastically curtailed. Inspection of schools will now be outcome-based and more academic and quality oriented, rather than focussing only on school infrastructure. The inspection will focus on academic excellence and progress of students over time, innovations and quality of pedagogy, capacity of teachers and teacher training, inclusive practises in school, quality of co-scholastic activities, whether curricular load is as per norms, whether there is adequate focus on sports and games, etc. This will not only help the Board and the school to track students’ progress over time, but will also identify areas that would need further efforts.
The entire process from application, to inspection, to grant of affiliation was made paperless by the Board in March 2018. For the new byelaws too, the entire process will be online. Applications shall henceforth be disposed off in the same year.
In the new byelaws, the school inspection will be done as soon as applications are received. On satisfactory inspection report, the Board will issue a Letter of Intent to the school, indicating its intention to affiliate the school. The school will then be expected to fulfil all the conditions laid down under the Post-Affiliation process, such as recruitment of qualified teachers, special educator, wellness counsellor, salaries through digital payment, etc. On complying with all these conditions, the school will submit an online commencement certificate latest by 31st March of the given year, based on which, the Board shall confirm affiliation of the school. Only then the schools shall be able to start new academic session under CBSE.
The new affiliation bye laws also lay thrust on achieving academic excellence through mandatory teacher training. Even the Principals and Vice Principals of every school are expected to undergo two days mandatory training on an annual basis. A special category of innovative schools has been added to include specialized schools, not covered elsewhere in these byelaws, who are implementing innovative ideas in the fields of skill development, sports, arts, sciences, etc. Regarding fee, the provisions include full fee disclosure to be made and no hidden charges to be levied by schools in the garb of fees. The byelaws clearly state that fee is to be charged as per the regulation of the appropriate government and fee revision shall be subject to laws, regulations and directions of the appropriate government. Also, for the first time, the byelaws encourage schools to promote environmental conservation through harnessing solar energy, rain water harvesting, greening of campus, recycling and segregation of waste, Swachhata on campus, etc.