The committee to revise the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) has decided to set up a “mandate group” to issue guidelines on the ways to introduce various elements of the new education policy, ranging from modern technological skills to ancient Indian knowledge systems, in the school textbooks.
It is learnt that the decision to set up the six-member group was taken by the 12-member National Steering Committee, headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, on December 9.
Of the six members in the proposed mandate group, three will be members of the steering committee, while the remaining three will be external domain experts. “The mandate group, which will essentially act as a sub-group of the national steering committee, will lay down guidelines, indicating the processes and timelines for the NCF as well as the State Curriculum Frameworks (SCFs),” a senior Union government official said on the condition of anonymity.
The task of the mandate group, explained the official, will be to provide clarity to the states on how to implement the larger ideas mentioned in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. “For example, the NEP states that knowledge from ancient India will be incorporated in an accurate and scientific manner in the school curriculum. But without a clear roadmap, how can that be done? The guidelines to be issued by the group will bring that clarity,” the official said.
Other areas that the mandate group will deal with include preparing the curriculum to suit the requirements of a 5+3+2+2 school system, marking a shift from the current 10+2 system. “The school curriculum will have to address each stage. Presently, classes one to 10 is a continuum. But once that changes, the curriculum will also have to reflect that shift and change accordingly. The methodology and pedagogy required to teach will be different at each level,” the official said.
NEP 2020 stresses on training students to develop 21st century capabilities across a range of disciplines as well as professional, technical, and vocational subjects.
“NEP 2020 is replete with references to 21st century skills. But in the absence of a clear direction, it means nothing…Also, the NEP says that going ahead, there will be no hard separations between arts and sciences, vocational and academic streams. But the system is currently shaped in a manner that is quite the opposite. Making schools function like universities encouraging multidisciplinary studies require guidelines and the recommendations of the group will be factored in by the SCFs and the NCF in this regard,” said the official.
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