Students to get new NCERT textbooks after a gap of nearly 20 years

MoE officials say the books, based on the NEP 2020, will include attention to the play-way method of teaching, as well as develop problem-solving abilities, and build the social and emotional capacities of children

March 27, 2023 05:17 pm | Updated March 28, 2023 08:16 am IST - New Delhi

Representational file image.

Representational file image. | Photo Credit: LAKSHMI NARAYANAN E

After nearly two decades, school students at all levels will learn from updated textbooks to be introduced in the 2024-25 academic year, top officials in the Ministry of Education (MoE) have said. This is in keeping with the National Education Policy 2020 and National Curriculum Framework (NCF) released in August 2022.

“Developing textbooks according to NCF in a year’s time is a tall task, but we are up for the challenge,” a top MoE official said.

On Monday, Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan convened the National Steering Committee meeting to streamline the next steps under the NCF agenda. Currently the government has released NCF for pre-school to Class 2, for children aged between three and eight years. The framework for other classes is yet to be rolled out. Correspondingly, textbooks based on NCF for Class 1 and 2 will be released by the end of this month.

The new National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks will be developed in 22 languages, in consonance with the NEP 2020 perspective of imparting multilingual education. Mr. Pradhan said that NCERT has developed material to feed into the play-way teaching method: the Jaadui Pitaara (magic box) would be made available to every school in the form of open education resources.

ALSO READ | Experts voice opposition to new education policy 

The officials said that of the 14.8 lakh schools in India, there are only 28,000 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools, nearly 2,000 Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) schools, and 345 International Baccalaureate (IB) schools. The rest are State board schools. “We are also in the process of assessing various States’ position papers in order to develop learning material adapted to regional contexts,” they said.

Private publishers, including the Oxford University Press (OUP), have already published ‘NEP 2020 and NCF 2022 aligned’ books for pre-school and Class 1 and 2.

The panchaadi way

NCF, in its guidelines, has emphasised that students’ learning should be planned keeping in mind Indian roots and has proposed a five-step learning process or panchaadi for children at the preschool or foundational level. Panchaadi includes aditi (introduction of a topic), bodh (conceptual understanding), abhyas (practice), prayog (application), and prasar (expansion).

This has been followed by private publishers too. “We have adopted this system while designing textbooks for pre-schoolers. It steers away from rote learning,” Sumanta Datta, Managing Director, OUP India said.

However, MoE officials feel that private publishers have jumped the gun with the claim that their Class 1 and 2 textbooks are aligned to NCF 2022. “How can private publishers release books before NCERT has published their textbooks according to the new NCF guidelines?” the official said. The officials further said that NCERT is currently reviewing material published by private publishers.

Through NCF, the MoE aims to help students develop their cognitive and critical thinking skills, which involve problem-solving in real-life situations. It also speaks about developing the social and emotional capacities of the child. There is an emphasis on vocational education so students can develop an entrepreneurial mindset or be gainfully employed in the future.

“While teaching students, one needs to refer to NCERT textbooks as a base. The curriculum can be built and modified over this,” a curriculum expert working with a CBSE school said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.