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The government has asked the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) to develop separate National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs) for school, early-childhood, teacher and adult education, as part of the process to implement the new National Education Policy.

The four NCFs will be crucial for developing new textbooks and designing the pedagogy when the new policy is rolled out across India, said two government officials, seeking anonymity.

So far, India had only one NCF, which formed the backbone of the school policy, and teaching-learning model. The NCERT, which operates under the union education ministry, has asked states to develop regional curriculum frameworks following deliberations with district-level officials and upwards, which will then be incorporated into the NCFs.

“There is a broad view that NCF must be framed by incorporating and integrating local and indigenous flavour from across the country by undertaking wider consultation. For this, state curriculum frameworks may be developed and then fed into the national curriculum framework," said one of the two officials.

“Therefore, the State Councils for Education Research and Training (SCERT) may have to come up with four NCFs, or four segments of the NCF, with a focus on four broad areas, from early childhood to adult education," a second official said.

An email query to NCERT director Sridhar Srivastava seeking details of the timeline, the role of the SCERTs and whether the NCERT has the jurisdiction to frame the curriculum for teachers’ education, remained unanswered.

Modules for teachers’ education was so far devised by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).

The second official said the NCERT is setting up 20 groups to develop the position papers on key issues while SCERTs will form committees to execute the work.

The NEP will be rolled out in 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had indicated last September. “In 2022, when India will be celebrating the completion of 75th year of Independence, all students should be learning according to the direction and provision of the new policy. It’s a collective responsibility," Modi had said.

The new NEP was passed in July 2020 by the Union Cabinet. The policy redraws the schooling system by replacing the existing 10+2 model with a 5+3+3+4 formula. That apart, the high-stake board exams of Class 10 and Class 12, will be ‘low stake’ and may be conducted more than once a year, under the new system. Students in the 3-8-year age group will be part of the foundation stage, 8-11 years for preparatory schooling, 11-14 years for middle school and 14-18 for secondary education.

Vocational education will also be part of the curriculum from Class 6 and 10-day internships will be introduced at schools. It also does away with the rigid course structures for science and arts streams, curricular and extracurricular activities, and emphasizes on the need to track students’ learning outcomes.

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