How National Curriculum Framework Can Unlock The Potential Of NEP
NCF lays a clear path for achieving foundational literacy and numeracy as articulated in NEP 2020 with age-appropriate strategies
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for the Foundational Stage is developed based on the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and to enable its implementation. The Foundational Stage, also commonly called early childhood, refers to children in the age group of 3 to 8 years, across the entire array of diverse educational institutes in India.
This is the first Stage in the 5+3+3+4 Curricular and Pedagogical restructuring of School Education as envisioned in NEP 2020. The NCF is a key component of the NEP (2020).
Significance of early childhood
In recent years the study of the significance of early childhood has been of paramount interest and investigation for experts, scientists, parents and educators. Experts working in the field of Developmental Psychology, which examines complex human behaviour, have traced the roots of adult human behaviour to childhood experiences.
Therefore, more and more people today are ready to ‘RE-THINK’ the systems governing early childhood education because of the life-long impact it has on individuals and society at large.
The focus of the adults, especially in the early years of their child or student’s life should be to provide a safe, loving, nurturing, responsive and stimulating atmosphere. The aim should be to unleash the unique inner potential of each child by encouraging their natural inquisitiveness. The objective of the teaching-learning philosophy should be to encourage and stimulate the children and not pull them back from their investigations through regressive methodologies.
In early childhood, the brain is developing at a very fast speed, by 6 years 90 per cent of the brain is developed, so one can imagine the significance of this age bracket. This is also the time when logical and biological pathways are set, so learning must be experience based.
In early childhood children should be active participants in her learning journey and not mere recipients of content. Uni-dimensional learning has serious limitations therefore learning should be by and large a ‘sensorial experience’.
Why NCF 2022 is a key component of the NEP (2020)
[Reference: NCF - National Curriculum Framework (ncert.gov.in) ]
(1)It is the first ever integrated national curriculum for ages 3 to 8 years.
(2)It envisions an integrated approach to early childhood care and education.
(3)Recognises the impact of quality early childhood care and education in the light of its life-long impact on the individual.
(4)It is based on the understanding of the mind, neural pathways and cognitive sciences.
(5)Based on best practices and inspired by Indian traditions.
(6)NCF is an informed document. It is the collective knowledge and wisdom of over 10 lakh interested citizens including students and parents, over 1.3 lakh teachers and educationists from across the country, over 1550 district level consultations from 32 States and Union Territories, and 35 groups of institutions. These consultations are in addition to over 500 papers on 25 specifically relevant themes written by groups constituted by the States and Union Territories which all together had over 4000 experts, and 25 papers on these themes developed by expert groups with over 175 members, constituted by the National Council for Educational Research and Training.
(7)The foundational stage framework will also help in preparing and training the teachers for this stage of education.
How will the NCF 2022 unleash the potential of the NEP 2022?
- The NCF focuses on the term ‘play’ based learning, as previously mentioned in the NEP 2020, for overall growth and development of the child. Also spelling out the practical ways in which this play based learning can be achieved.
- NCF lays a clear path for achieving foundational literacy and numeracy as articulated in NEP 2020 with age-appropriate strategies.
- NCF will help achieve the NEP 2020 vision by making changes in the curriculum including pedagogy.
- NCF is more practice focussed rather than more idea focussed.
- It focusses on the transformation of the curriculum.
- NCF makes the ideas of the NEP more usable by practioners.
- NEP laid down the importance of the teacher, parents and society but the NCF clearly lays down the role each must play, with primary focus on the role of the teacher in the life of the student in the school setting.
- NCF contains in itself the vision of the NEP with different levels of detail and specificity at the level of practice.
- The NCF is rooted not only in an aspiration or a far-fetched vision, but also the current reality and context of the teaching-learning conditions.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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