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New National Curriculum Framework released, textbooks to be overhauled

Signaling a major overhaul in the textbook curricula across the country, the education ministry has launched a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF). The draft was prepared by a panel headed by former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chief, K Kasturiranga. The pre draft has been made public and suggestions from parents, teachers, and scholars have been invited. “While giving your feedback, it needs to be kept in view that this is a pre-draft of the NCF-SE which still requires several rounds of discussion within the National Steering Committee (NSC). Feedback from diverse stakeholders will further help NSC to look critically into different modalities and approaches that this framework is proposing,” the Ministry said.

National Curriculum Framework is the document that forms the basis for designing textbooks in the country. Current textbooks taught across schools prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) are based on NCF 2005. NCF has been revised four times in the past- 1975, 1988, 2000 and 2005.

Several far reaching changes have been introduced to restructure the way assessment and teaching is done in schools across the country. The draft is meant for the curriculum framework for age groups 3 to 18. In line with the recommendations of the New Education Policy 2020, senior secondary students have been given the freedom to pursue any combination of subjects from commerce, science and art without having to choose a particular stream. By doing away with the system of separate streams, the draft focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to teaching at this level. Moreover, the draft mentions that explicit and written tests are inappropriate assessment tools for children up to class 2. Thus, it has been recommended that written tests be introduced only after class 3. The document also gives a greater and enhanced role to “well designed” textbooks and teachers in the pedagogical process.

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