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### TDP Urges Government for Clarity on IB Curriculum Deal in Public Schools

Vijayawada: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) urged the state government on Monday to be transparent about the agreement it entered into with the International Baccalaureate (IB) regarding the integration of its curriculum into all government schools. Neelayapalem Vijay Kumar, the official spokesperson of TDP, questioned the state government about the financial commitment involved in implementing the IB curriculum amidst concerns about its economic sustainability.

Highlighting that the IB curriculum is currently present in only 5,700 schools across 160 countries, with just 218 schools in India offering it, Vijay Kumar expressed reservations about the state government’s ambitious plan to introduce it in approximately 59,000 schools in Andhra Pradesh without prior deliberation on IB’s capacity to manage such a large-scale implementation.

In addition to questioning IB’s operational capacity to roll out its curriculum extensively, Vijay Kumar raised uncertainties regarding the financial implications. Citing information from the IB’s official website, he noted that the organization charges 13,218 Swiss Francs (equivalent to ₹11 lakh) per school, despite claiming to be a non-profit entity.

Furthermore, Vijay Kumar pointed out that in addition to the authorization fee, a cost of Euro 75 per student from fifth grade onwards is required for examinations and assessments as per the IB website. With around 40 lakh students enrolled in government schools, the annual examination costs alone could amount to ₹24,000 crore, according to Vijay Kumar. He demanded clarification from the government on whether they are paying the fees stipulated on the IB website or receiving the services for free, akin to the arrangement with Byju’s. Expressing concerns that adhering to the IB’s fee structure could lead to financial insolvency, he criticized the YSRCP government for transforming the education sector into an experimental ground for private entities like Byju’s, IB, and Edex.

Vijay Kumar criticized the government’s rapid changes in the education sector over the past five years, including the introduction of English medium instruction, the adoption of CBSE syllabus, integration of Byju’s content, and the current shift towards IB and Edex. He highlighted the need for stability and consistency in educational policies to ensure effective learning outcomes for students.

Recent articles have also covered the drafting of the State Curriculum Framework (SCF) for School Education in Mumbai, which is open to online feedback. The SCF committee members have been visiting schools with the consent of principals, and the initiative has garnered responses from over 4,500 teachers to aid in curriculum development.

In financial news, Byju’s concluded a rights issue in February, raising \(300 million and achieving a valuation of \)220-250 million. Independent directors were appointed post-rights issue, emphasizing transparency following the declaration of FY23 results.

The government’s future plans include establishing educational hubs with essential infrastructure in all constituencies to cater to the needs of social welfare, tribal welfare, and minority welfare institutions. A blueprint has already been designed for the Kodangal constituency, with an allocated budget of 100 crores, aiming to foster inclusivity by enabling students from diverse backgrounds to study together.