Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

Revised NCF: How school education could change


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Curriculum Framework (NCF)

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • The launch of the revised National Curriculum Framework (NCF) heralds a transformative era in Indian education.
  • Spearheaded by a 13-member steering committee led by Dr. K. Kasturirangan, former ISRO chief, the updated NCF is a milestone document shaping the contours of future school education.

About National Curriculum Framework (NCF)

  • The NCF is a meta-framework that integrates the credits earned through school education, higher education, and vocational and skill education.
  • The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) is a cornerstone of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
  • It consists of three verticals:
  1. National School Education Qualification Framework (NSEQF)
  2. National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF) and
  3. National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)
  • There have been four revisions in NCF in the past: in 1975, 1988, 2000, and 2005.

Key features of NCF

  • Multiple Languages Learning: In Classes 9 and 10, students embark on a journey of linguistic exploration involving three languages, with at least two originating from India’s diverse linguistic spectrum. Grades 11 and 12 entail the study of two languages, including one of Indian origin, aimed at cultivating a “literary level” of linguistic proficiency in at least one Indian language.
  • Flexible Board Exams: Students are granted the freedom to take Board exams twice within an academic year, with the highest score being retained.
  • Revised Mandatory and Optional Subjects: Departing from previous norms, Classes 9 and 10 see the inclusion of seven mandatory subjects, while Classes 11 and 12 witness six, providing a broader academic spectrum.
  • Varied Subject Combinations: Students have the freedom to select diverse subject combinations, transcending traditional divides between Science, Social Science, Art, Physical Education, and vocational fields.
  • Prominent Environmental Focus: The NCF integrates environmental awareness and sustainability throughout, with dedicated stages for embedding environmental education.
  • Content Distribution in Social Science: Classes 6 to 8 witness a redefined content distribution in Social Science, encompassing 20% local, 30% regional, 30% national, and 20% global perspectives.

Significance of NCF

  • Structured Educational Stages: The NCF categorizes school education into four stages, fostering a structured and seamless learning progression: Foundational, Preparatory, Middle, and Secondary.
  • Focus on Interdisciplinarity: The framework empowers students to select subjects from various streams in grades 11 and 12, promoting interdisciplinary learning and expanding career prospects.
  • Learning Enrichment: The framework introduces an “Additional Enrichment Period” in grades 9 and 10, enabling students to deepen their knowledge in a chosen subject.
  • Competency-Based Approach: The NCF outlines competency goals for various subjects, promoting effective communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

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