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Why Implement Competency-Based Education Programs in 21st century schools?

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‘The NEP 2020 made some major alterations to the existing education curriculum. It gave paramount importance to competency-based learning for the students and test their higher-order thinking skills. It promotes rational thinking and enhances the student’s creativity and analytical skills.’

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has taken up this call and is advocating competency-based education for all educational institutions. It feels very strongly about its implementation of the same. A must do thought that is being echoed all over the country by all institutions.

We have already delved into the what, why and how of CBE but now we have to face the cat that’s been let loose amongst the pigeons. The very implementation of CBE in schools.


Our very first task then would be to identify what implementation of CBE actually means and the challenges education is up against today.

Hence, to combat this challenge, we first need an environment that builds CBE at different levels; which covers education, school leadership and teachers, and most importantly the students themselves. Thus, creating and establishing an ecosystem for CBE in all educational institutions to thrive and prosper. Our next goal would then be to Design Learning Objectives based around this ecosystem.

To do this one must know the learners CBE is designed for, their learning patterns and styles.


Once we get to know our students, this will then herald in new teaching strategies for learning with CBE.

Which further leads us to the teacher’s role in CBE. The teacher must have a thorough and an in-depth knowledge of the curriculum, to easily transact it the CBE way. This also means that he/she must have a very strong grasp of CBE itself, besides the other traditional skill sets. Leading us to the kind of training (a paramount requirement), it would take to ensure our teachers are CBE ready.


Repairing, overhauling and rethinking the student and teacher view points and aligning them to 21st-century skills and competencies. A doable challenging task to say the least.


Changing the mindset of the management is also a must do.


Mastery of demonstrable skills while implementing Competency-based Education comes from mastering the assessment process to the very last in-depth detail. Assessments of skills connected to critical and creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication are core to successful living, in the 21st Century.


Along with these comes the other challenges; of larger classrooms and class sizes, infrastructure dedicated to CBE learning, achieving excellence in dealing with real world situation rather than testing of content. Putting all of these into place, is time consuming and we are always playing the game of running against time; added to which it may not be economical. But the main consideration must and should be the student, especially if we want them to be 21st century warriors facing reality head-on.


In conclusion CBE refers to a model shift from its time-honoured pattern to a more performance-based education. The move towards this somewhat new, (though by no means completely new-as we already know that this way of teaching has been around for ages, albeit somewhat forgotten) mode of teaching requires a lot of sweat and toil, skills, resources, coordination, collaboration and a firm dedication to be able to get our learner to be 21st century ready. Achieving this mammoth goal will require a pedagogical shift so as to evolve into a skill set competency, not commonly part of any faculty, institution or administration preparing for higher education. Implementation of Competency Based Education will be notably disruptive to most educational institutions, students and administrators in today’s date. Having said that, this is a path we must drift towards and stay the course on in the future or our learners will be left behind in this fast pace world of today.



Devyani Kapoor

Devyani Kapoor

Founder & Director
Edudevs School of Inspired Teaching & Learning | Edudevs Knowledge Foundation

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