NCF changes for school education spark concerns among school principals and educators

NCF changes for school education spark concerns among school principals and educators

Revised NCF: How School Education Could Change


The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for School Education 2023 is a landmark document that aims to implement the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The NCF, which was last revised in 2005, covers the entire range of school education from age 3 to 18 years, across different types of institutions in India. The NCF is based on the 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical restructuring of school education as envisioned in the NEP 2020.

The NCF has several key features that make it a transformative and progressive framework for school education. Some of these are:

- The NCF derives its curricular goals from the aims of education as articulated in the NEP 2020. These include developing the full range of human capacities, values and dispositions that are essential for a holistic and fulfilling life.
- The NCF divides school education into four stages: Foundational (preschool to grade 2), Preparatory (grades 3 to 5), Middle (grades 6 to 8), and Secondary (grades 9 to 12). Each stage has its own learning standards, pedagogy, content and assessment guidelines that are appropriate for the developmental needs and interests of the learners.
- The NCF makes the study of Indian languages an integral part of school education. It recommends the teaching of three languages till grade 10, two of which must be native to India. In grades 11 and 12, it is mandatory to study two languages, one of which must be Indian. The NCF also promotes multilingualism and respect for linguistic diversity in India.
- The NCF allows students the freedom to choose from a range of subjects across streams in grades 11 and 12. This enables greater interdisciplinarity and flexibility in school education. The NCF also recommends an optional "Additional Enrichment Period" in grades 9 and 10 to add to a student's knowledge in any subject.
- The NCF covers various school subjects/areas such as language education, mathematics education, science education, social science education, arts education, interdisciplinary areas, physical education, vocational education and environmental education. It also addresses cross-cutting themes such as values, inclusion, information and communication technology, guidance and counselling, rootedness in India and school culture and processes. It lists the competencies to be achieved by students in different subjects and stages.
- The NCF creates a supportive ecosystem for learning by ensuring an appropriate environment for learning, maintaining a favourable pupil teacher ratio, enabling and empowering teachers, and defining the role of academic and administrative functionaries.

The NCF is expected to come into effect from the next academic year. It will have a significant impact on the quality and outcomes of school education in India. It will also prepare the students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Sources:

(4) National Curriculum Framework for School Education - NCERT. https://ncert.nic.in/pdf/ncfse2023.pdf.
(5) Revised NCF: How school education could change - Civilsdaily. https://www.civilsdaily.com/news/revised-ncf-how-school-education-could-change/.
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