The new curriculum suggested by the National Education Policy 2020 can only be implemented by the academic year 2023-24, said National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Director Hrushikesh Senapaty.
It will take a year for the NCERT to develop the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and another two years to develop the textbooks, he said in conversation with Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express, and author and senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai on TNIE Expressions, a series of live webcasts with people who matter.
Senapaty said a collaborative effort will be required to implement the new curriculum. “We will prepare the textbooks in a phased manner and will be able to implement it in three years,” he said.
“Even though our curriculum will be introduced in CBSE affiliated schools, the NEP will be adopted by all the states as well with slight modifications. The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), which has all the education ministers of all the states, will approve the curriculum and then it will be accepted by the states. This time there will be not one but four NCFs — early childhood care and education, school education, teacher education and adult education curriculum,” he added.
The implementation of the policy will also need well-trained teachers who can teach the new syllabus. But who will train these teachers?
“We have started a massive teachers’ training programme from August 19 for 42 lakh elementary school teachers and till date have trained 17.5 lakh teachers keeping in view the pedagogy. Mostly, it’s a question of pedagogy. If there is no change in approach, it will not be fruitful. We need our teachers to give the students experiential education. There will also be in online mode,” Senapaty said.
The three-language formula has been heavily debated since the NEP was made public. The NCERT director said the policy has left ample room for modifications in formula and that it is very flexible.
New CBSE syllabus based on NEP to be implemented only in 2023 | EE58 https://t.co/2MtRG672Dd— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) September 1, 2020
“The states can choose two Indian languages of their choice and nowhere does it mention that Sanskrit is compulsory, neither is Hindi.” said Senapaty.
“It is up to the state to develop the textbooks as well. We develop textbooks in English, Hindi and Urdu. The states then adapt it to the other Indian languages. The language textbooks, too, are developed by the states. We only give them a framework.”
The NEP emphasises on implementing three modes of assessment which will have both teachers and students participating in the process for a holistic educational experience, said Senapaty.
India needs to focus on teaching life skills in an integrated manner rather than just emphasise on cognitive skills, he said. “Our focus has shifted from content mastery to competence mastery,” he said.