The National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE) was released by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. This framework is a significant step towards putting the National Education Policy into action. The main goal of this framework is to align education with the needs of the 21st century and India’s traditional knowledge system.
The framework covers all stages of schooling, from foundational to secondary levels. It sets clear standards for learning and skills, helping teachers promote critical thinking, creativity, and genuine understanding among students. It aims to empower educators, encourage effective teaching methods, and emphasize school values.
Under the NCF-SE, subjects like Art Education, Physical Education & Well-being, Environmental Education, and Vocational Education are given renewed importance. The framework supports a multidisciplinary approach, encouraging students to explore the connections between different subjects and their real-life applications.
The NCF-SE is based on the 5+3+3+4 schooling structure proposed by the National Education Policy 2020. It covers all four stages of schooling: Foundational Stage, Preparatory Stage, Middle Stage, and Secondary Stage. The framework provides clear guidelines for content, teaching methods, and assessments, making it practical and useful for teachers, parents, and students.
The framework aims to foster not only knowledge but also important qualities like critical thinking, creativity, and ethical values. It emphasizes the importance of empowering teachers and schools, using engaging teaching methods, and transforming assessments to reduce stress and promote real learning.
Environmental Education is given special attention due to challenges like climate change and pollution. Vocational Education is integrated into school education to prepare students for different types of work, including agriculture, craftsmanship, and human services.
Language learning is also highlighted, with the framework encouraging proficiency in at least three languages, two of which should be native to India. Mathematics teaching focuses on understanding concepts and reducing the fear often associated with the subject.
In the Secondary Stage, students have more flexibility and choice in selecting subjects, allowing for a combination of academic and vocational subjects. The curriculum also includes interdisciplinary areas of study that help students address contemporary challenges using knowledge from multiple disciplines.
The NCF-SE is divided into five parts:
- Part A outlines the aims of school education, desired values and skills, and principles for content, teaching, and assessment.
- Part B discusses important themes like Indian roots, values education, environmental awareness, inclusive education, and technology use.
- Part C contains chapters for each subject, defining learning standards, content guidelines, and pedagogical approaches.
- Part D focuses on creating a positive learning environment and instilling values.
- Part E outlines the overall schooling ecosystem, including teacher capacity, infrastructure, and community involvement.
Overall, the NCF-SE is designed to make education in India more relevant, practical, and rooted in Indian values while preparing students for the demands of the modern world.