National Curriculum Framework proposes Board exams twice a year

Students of Classes 11 and 12 to study two languages, including one native to India while students of Classes 9 and 10 to study three; NCF follows the lead of NEP 2020, and gives lay of the land for formulating new textbooks from Classes 3 to 12

August 23, 2023 02:29 pm | Updated August 24, 2023 12:28 am IST - New Delhi

Board examinations will be conducted twice a year with students having the option to retain the best score according to the Ministry of Education’s new curriculum framework. | Representative image

Board examinations will be conducted twice a year with students having the option to retain the best score according to the Ministry of Education’s new curriculum framework. | Representative image | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

Students in Classes 9 and 10 will need to learn three languages, of which at least two will be native to India. In Classes 11 and 12, students will learn two languages, including one of Indian origin, according to the final National Curriculum Framework released by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on Wednesday.

The NCF was released by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday.

Currently, students in Classes 9 and 10 study two languages, and students in Class 11 and 12 study one language.

The NCF expects students to achieve a “literary level” of linguistic capacity in at least one of these Indian languages, the draft states.

The NCF has also stated that all students will be allowed to take Board exams on at least two occasions during any given school year, with only the best score being retained.

The NCF, drafted by the national steering committee headed by former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Kasturirangan, follows the lead of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and gives the lay of the land for formulating new textbooks from Grades 3 to 12 under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Textbooks for Class 1 and 2 have already been released by NCERT.

So far, the students from Classes 9 to 12 studied five mandatory subjects, with an option of adding one more subject. Now, the number of mandatory subjects for Classes 9 and 10 is seven, and it’s six for Classes 11 and 12.

Optional subjects have been grouped in three parts in the NCF. The first optional group includes art education, emphasising on both visual and performing arts, with equal emphasis on making, thinking about, and appreciating artwork. It also includes physical education and vocational education. The second group includes Social Science, the Humanities, and interdisciplinary areas. The third group includes Science, Mathematics, and computational thinking.

The NCF has recommended that in the long term, all Boards should change to semester or term-based systems, where students can be tested in a subject as soon as they have completed the subject, which would reduce the content load being tested in any one examination.

For Classes 6 to 8, the NCF states that 20% content would be from the local level for the Social Science curriculum, 30% content would be from the regional level, 30% would be from the national level, and 20% content would be global.

The ‘Secondary Stage’ has been significantly redesigned to offer more flexibility and choice for students. There is no hard separation between academic and vocational subjects, or between Science, Social Science, Art, and Physical Education. Students can choose interesting combinations of subjects for receiving their School Leaving Certificates.

Responding to the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, and the criticality of environmental awareness and sustainability in today’s world, Environmental Education is given due emphasis across all stages of schooling, culminating in a separate area of study in the Secondary Stage.

“The textbooks for Classes 3-12 are to be aligned with 21st century requirements, making them rooted and futuristic,” Mr. Pradhan said.

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