To take forward the process of widespread consultation for the development of the new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) based on the National Education Policy, 2020, the Ministry of Education held a meeting with senior officials/representatives of all Ministries and Departments of Govt. of India and important bodies including NCERT, Election Commission of India, ICAR, DRDO, etc. The meeting was chaired by Ms. Anita Karwal, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education (MoE), and focused on how ministries and organisations can contribute in developing a curriculum framework that is responsive and relevant to the developmental needs and interests of learners at different stages of their development.
In the said meeting, the officials present were first taken through a presentation by Ms LS Changsan, Additional Secretary, DoSEL, on how a curriculum framework is prepared, what are its deliverables and what is expected from them. Many areas of contribution were subsequently discussed, such as, the rapidly changing technology, need for innovation and generation of new ideas, need to focus on crucial areas like climate change, future skill requirements, crucial factors for agricultural growth, knowledge of India, especially in those areas where India is at the forefront for instilling a sense of pride, assistive technology for inclusion, enriching subject knowledge with real-life information, how to promote multilingualism, integration of sports, fitness, arts, etc. The inputs from ministries would help in identifying and integrating several pertinent areas, skills and competencies in the NCF at relevant stages. It was also discussed that it would be very helpful if the ministries also point out their own role in taking certain ideas forward by partnering with school education ecosystem.
The key deliverables of NCF were discussed in detail, including, Early Childhood Care and Education, Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, Competency Based Education, Flexibility in Choice of Subjects in Secondary Classes, Reduction of Curriculum to Core Essentials, Reimagining Vocational education, Identification of Core Skills and Content, Inclusive Education, Multilingualism, Integrating Knowledge of India, citizenship, values like-appreciation of national heritage, respect for public property, taking care of elders, spirit of service, needs of Gifted Children, Experiential learning, Integration of arts and craft, toys, health and well-being, sports and physical education Guidance and Counselling, Community involvement etc.
Given the crucial nature of the work undertaken by the MoE in preparing the new NCF, participants shared their ideas on how they would be able to contribute to the process. Ideas such as leveraging the innovation ecosystem of the Department of Science and Technology, understanding the efforts that go into agriculture to bring food on the table, the huge role of Gram panchayats in ensuring enrolment and retention in schools, the importance of imbibing volunteerism in early years, the need for every child to participate in activities related to physical health and well-being, focus on Divyang children, exposure to new technology from a young age, etc. were discussed. It was decided that all ministries would soon send written inputs for the National Steering Committee and NCERT to take cognizance of. In the end, the ministries were also requested to whole-heartedly participate in and disseminate the web-app based citizen survey being undertaken by NCERT on https://survey-ncf.inroad.in/#/ where the questionnaire is available in 22 Indian languages and in English.
The NCF process can be seen at: https://ncf.ncert.gov.in/#/web/home