The focus of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) while giving affiliation to schools will shift to ensuring that they meet the standards laid down in Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. To ensure that schools achieve learning outcomes, several changes have been made in the by-laws of the affiliation rating body.

“The inspection by the CBSE will focus on academic excellence and progress of students over time, innovations and quality of pedagogy, capacity of teachers and teacher training, inclusive practices in school, quality of co-scholastic activities, whether the curricular load is as per norms and whether there is adequate emphasis on sports,” said Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.

The CBSE has 20,783 schools affiliated to it across the country and abroad, with over 1.9 crore students and more than 10 lakh teachers. The affiliation by-laws were formulated in 1998 and were last modified in 2012. It is expected the revised by-laws will improve the quality of teaching in all these schools.

An effort has been made to make the process of granting affiliation simpler and a transparent process. Making an announcement of revision of by-laws on Thursday, Javadekar said the process has been made online. “Now a school applying for affiliation will not have to wait for years. All application will be cleared within a year,” he said.

Due to the lengthy process of affiliation which involved duplicity of work at the state level and Central level, there were 8000 pending applications. This pendency, included giving affiliation to more than 2000 new schools, has been disposed of this year.

It was earlier a time-consuming process since CBSE did re-verification of the certificates required to be obtained from local bodies. “Now the district education officer (DEO) will certify that the school has all the necessary amenities for running the school. We must have some faith in the state governments also,” said Javadekar.

He said the duplicity of work overburdened the CBSE. The focus of the CBSE will now be on ensuring quality of teaching, he added.