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About The National Curriculum Framework


Recently, the final National Curriculum Framework (NCF) was released by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), leading to significant reforms in the education system, led by the principles of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.


GS II: Education

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)
  2. What is NCF?
  3. National Education Policy 2020

Key Highlights of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF):

Language Learning:
  • Classes 9 and 10: Learn three languages, with at least two being native Indian languages.
  • Classes 11 and 12: Study two languages, including one of Indian origin.
  • Aim to achieve a “literary level” of linguistic capacity in at least one Indian language.
Board Exams:
  • Students can take Board exams on at least two occasions in a school year.
  • Only the best score among attempts will be retained.
Alignment with NEP 2020:
  • NCF follows NEP 2020 guidelines, guiding new CBSE textbooks from Grades 3 to 12.
  • Textbooks aligned with 21st-century requirements, balancing present context and future orientation.
Mandatory Subjects:
  • Classes 9 and 10: Seven mandatory subjects.
  • Classes 11 and 12: Six mandatory subjects.
Subject Grouping:
  • Three subject groups: art education, physical education, and vocational education; Social Science, Humanities, and interdisciplinary areas; Science, Mathematics, and computational thinking.
Flexibility and Choice:
  • Redesigned “Secondary Stage” offers more flexibility and choice.
  • No strict separation between academic and vocational subjects.
  • Students can choose varied subject combinations for School Leaving Certificates.
Environmental Awareness:
  • Emphasis on environmental awareness and sustainability.
  • Environmental Education integrated across all schooling stages.
  • Separate area of study for environmental education in Secondary Stage.
Content Distribution for Social Science Curriculum (Classes 6-8):
  • 20% content from local level.
  • 30% content from regional level.
  • 30% content from national level.
  • 20% content from global level.

What is NCF?

  • The NCF, which was last revised in 2005 under the Congress-led UPA government, is a key document based on which textbooks are prepared.
  • So the current set of NCERT textbooks, barring the deletions, are all based on the NCF 2005.
  • Before 2005, the NCF was revised thrice, including once under the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • Under the latest round of revision, which is underway since September 2021, draft frameworks on early childhood care and education and school education have already been prepared, while work on teacher and adult education is underway.
  • Apart from textbooks, the NCF, after its adoption by the CBSE and other state boards, will also restructure various other aspects of the classroom, including choice of subjects, pattern of teaching, and assessment.

National Education Policy 2020:

  • The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a comprehensive educational reform framework approved in 2020 in India.
  • It aims to bring substantial changes to the education system by adopting a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.
Key Features:
  • Universalization of Education: Ensures education access from preschool to secondary level for all.
  • New Pedagogical and Curricular Structure: Based on cognitive and socio-emotional development of students.
  • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy: Focuses on developing these skills in primary education.
  • Research and Development: Emphasizes enhancing research activities in education.

-Source: The Hindu

April 2024