Context: The Ministry of Education has released a pre-draft of the NCF 2023 for public feedback.
What is NCF?
- National Curriculum Framework (NCF) is a key document based on which textbooks are developed. The NCF was last revised in 2005.
- This not the first time NCF is revised. It was revised thrice before 2005. Except deletions, the current set of NCERT textbooks are all based on the NCF 2005.
- Members: The NCF steering committee is headed by former ISRO chairperson K Kasturirangan. Other members of the 12-member committee include Manjul Bhargava (Fields Medal recipient), Michel Danino (author of ‘The Lost River: On the Trail of Saraswati’), Najma Akhtar (Jamia Millia Islamia University Vice-Chancellor) and T V Kattimani (Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh Vice-Chancellor).
- Current status:
- The draft frameworks on early childhood care and education and school education have already been prepared. Work on teacher and adult education framework is underway.
- NCF will also make changes to various other aspects of the classroom, including subject choices, pattern of teaching, and assessment.
Key Recommendations in Draft National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2023:
|Acquainting Students with true sources of Knowledge||These sources focus on six pramanas:
Pratyaksa: Perception through five senses
Anumana: Using inferences to come to new conclusions
Upamana: Knowing through analogy and comparison
Arthapatti: Knowing through circumstantial implication
Anupalabdhi: Includes perception of non-existence
Sabda: A fraction of all reality can be known through direct experience and inference but must rely on other experts.
|Moral Development||The draft document recommends moral development of a child through panchakosha vikas or five-fold development.
It can be developed through a balanced diet, traditional games, yoga, as well as a wide variety of stories, songs, lullabies, poems, prayers to develop a love for cultural context.
|Subject Categorization||The most significant changes proposed under NCF are about choice of subjects and exams in classes IX-XII.
Over two years, students in class IX and X will have to study 16 courses categorised under eight curricular areas.
The suggested curricular areas are Humanities (including languages), Mathematics & Computing, Vocational Education, Arts, Social Science, Physical Education, Science, and Inter-disciplinary Areas.
|Design of Examination||Students will have to clear eight board exams to obtain the final certification that will consider their performances in exams held across two years.
These exams are meant to assess their hold on courses they learnt in class IX and X. There will not be a single examination at the end of the year.
The committee has also recommended the introduction of a semester system in class XII.
|Exposure to Multi-Disciplinary Subjects||Students have to pick 16 courses from eight curricular areas. Currently, CBSE students in Class XII appear for a maximum of six and there is little scope for multidisciplinary education.
There will be no hard separation among arts, humanities, and sciences, allowing for an interdisciplinary study.
|Teaching Approach||The NCF suggests play based approach to teaching for children aged 3-8 enrolled in grades between preschool and class II.
Textbooks will have to be used from Grade 1 and most of the content should be concrete materials – toys, puzzles, and manipulatives.
For preparatory stage (class III, IV and V), students should be introduced to textbooks on languages, mathematics, while also continuing with activity and discovery-based approach.
For middle stage learners (class VI, VII, VIII), natural and social sciences will be introduced.
|Tweaks to Specific Subjects||Social Science: It suggests stressing on a lone piece of evidence, instead of exposing children to multiple contrasting pieces of evidence.
It prevents children from being obtaining “lopsided or inadequate picture” of a topic in social science textbooks.
Mathematics: The current teaching method in maths has encouraged rote learning and promoted the perception of maths as “mechanical computation”.
The committee suggests a shift towards play, activity, discovery and discussion-based learning.