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Union education ministry unveils comprehensive national curriculum framework

Union education ministry unveils comprehensive national curriculum framework

New Delhi: The Union education ministry has introduced a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) that is set to bring significant changes to India's school education system.

The revised NCF, crafted by a 12-member committee headed by K Kasturirangan, who chaired the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 panel, aims to modernise the educational landscape by incorporating important alterations, including the introduction of dual board exams, increased student autonomy, and updated textbooks that align with NEP 2020.

The new curriculum structure is scheduled to be implemented during the academic year 2024-25.

The revamped NCF organises the curriculum into four distinctive stages, each catering to the specific learning needs of students within different age groups.

The initial stage, known as the Foundation Stage, caters to children aged 3 to 8. It emphasises play-based learning to foster teacher-student relationships. Textbooks and workbooks are introduced in Class 1, and this stage concludes after Class 2.

The Preparatory Stage accommodates students aged 8 to 11. It emphasises three languages and mathematics, employing activity and discovery-based teaching methodologies.

The Middle Stage encompasses students aged 11 to 14 and includes vocational exposure up to Class 8.

The final stage, the Secondary Stage, targets students aged 14 to 18, spanning Classes 9 to 12. This phase prioritises the development of reasoning and argumentation skills and introduces choice-based courses to enhance flexibility.

While modern pedagogical methods are embraced, the NCF also underscores the importance of preserving Indian culture. By integrating local resources such as language, practices, histories, and environment, the curriculum aims to imbue Indian traditions into the educational experience. The curriculum also seeks to educate students about the notable contributions made by Indians across various fields.

A central shift in the NCF is the transformation of board exam assessments. Instead of relying on rote memorisation and months of coaching, the focus will be on assessing students' understanding and competencies. This change is expected to create a more holistic and comprehensive evaluation approach.

The NCF's impact will extend to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) under government management. Furthermore, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has indicated its intention to align the ICSE and ISC curriculum with the updated NCF. This suggests that other state boards will also adopt the new framework, fostering a harmonious transformation in the nation's educational landscape.

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