Draft National Curriculum Framework for School Education

The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in India is a comprehensive guideline that serves as a blueprint for school education. The NCF is periodically updated to reflect changing student and societal needs. The new draft NCF proposes significant changes to the school day and academic year.

The Proposed Changes to the School Day and Academic Year

According to the draft, students are required attend school for five and a half days a week, with Saturdays as a half-day of study. It also recommends that the class periods should span for 40 minutes for preparatory and middle school stages, and 50 minutes for Class 9 onwards. The academic year should have 180 school days (34 weeks) at all stages of education.

Preparatory and Middle Stages

For the preparatory and middle school stages, all weekdays must start with a 25-minute assembly, and each period is to last for 40 minutes. Some subjects will require a block period, and class time is then extended to 80 minutes. The 5-minute transition time must be provided for students to prepare for next class. A 15-minute snack break and 45-minute lunch break must also be provided.

Secondary Stage

For Class 9 onwards, the weekday will also begin with a 25-minute assembly. Class time is 50 minutes, and block periods are hence 100 minutes. Lunch has been extended to 55 minutes. The school day has been extended to account for an ‘Additional Enrichment Period’ every evening. This is used for enrichment in any subject on the curriculum.

Impact on Teaching and Assessment

The NCF forms the basis of changes that will be brought about in school textbooks and will influence the pattern of teaching and assessment in classrooms. The new draft NCF is more specific in its suggestions than the 2005 one, which was criticized for being too broad and general.

Board Examinations and Semester System

The draft NCF has suggested some significant changes in the examination system. It recommends that board examinations be held twice a year and that Class 12 should follow a semester system. This will help reduce the stress on students during exams and provide them with more opportunities to showcase their skills. The NCF also recommends that students should be free to pursue a mix of science and humanities to minimize the inflexible boundaries separating arts, commerce, and science in classes 11 and 12 of all school boards.



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