Significantly, in a bottom-up approach, district level consultations (DLCs) will shape the foundations of the four NCFs — school education, early childhood care and education, teacher education and adult education.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has set August 2022 as deadline for finalisation of the school curriculum, after which the development of textbooks are to commence.
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In what is being planned as one of the biggest consultative processes, the NCERT has set the deadlines for the states to complete the DLCs as well as the mobile application surveys within four weeks from now, followed by development of 25 theme-based position papers by the states and Union territories by February 2022.
The deadline for the State Curriculum Frameworks (SCFs) is April 2022, to be followed by the National Focus Groups’ position papers in May 2022. Following a two-day orientation programme for state/ UT representatives on Saturday and Monday, the Council activated the tech platform on which districts and states/UTs will have to upload their 25 focus group papers as well as the SCFs.
The four NCFs are being made in the making. What makes these four curricula, which include the school curriculum to be re-worked after 16 years, unique is the bottom-up approach, with the NCFs emanating from SCFs, which in turn would be based on district level consultations (DLCs) of various stakeholders, and the complete process would be paperless. The NCFs would be based on 25 themes drawn from the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which includes 12 focus groups directly related to curriculum and pedagogy, five on cross-cutting theses and eight related to other important areas of the policy.
As per information accessed by TOI, for school education, 17 new academic areas have been identified which, apart from the ones mentioned earlier, which also include flexibility in choice of subjects in secondary classes, reduction of curriculum to core essentials and multilingualism.
Sharing the roadmap with the nodal officers at the orientation programme, the NCERT stated that states/UTs will conduct DLCs involving all districts, where 60 participants will be consulted offline and 80 online. The participants will include teachers, teacher educators, parents, students, community members, non-literates and educational administrators. From each DLC four reports will be generated which will provide inputs for the focus groups. Thereafter, NCERT too will conduct two to three DLCs in each state/UT.
Apart from the DLCs, the states/ UTs are supposed to conduct a mobile app survey with a minimum of 500 to a maximum of 6,000 community members depending on the density of the population. The survey consists of 100 questions related to NEP 2020 implementation and is divided into four areas — 40 questions in school education and 20 questions each for early childhood care and education, teacher education and adult education.
Introducing the tech platform to the nodal officers of various states/UTs, NCERT director Sridhar Srivastava said, “For the first time this national curriculum framework has been envisaged based on a very wider consultation process and for the first time in the country, the states are on boarded right from the very beginning in the process. Wider consultation includes consultation at the state level and district level at different platforms like mobile app survey, etc. The main purpose of this consultation is that we want to be richer by the experience and the local flavour of the States and UTs, their views on the NEP 2020.”
The revision of NCF has been synced with the NEP 2020, which has also proposed examination reforms such as uniform assessment and evaluation system under the proposed National Assessment Centre.