State panels asked to help prepare school syllabus with NEP features

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The Centre expects state-level committees formed as part of the ongoing curriculum framework revision exercise to recommend ways to incorporate key elements of the National Education Policy (NEP) in the school syllabus.

“How can knowledge of India develop national pride?” and “What should be the approach to sex education?” are some of the questions that the state-level committees, or focus groups, have to answer.

These are among the guidelines prepared by a sub-group of the National Steering Committee, leading the exercise to revise the National Curriculum Framework.

On January 27, School Education Secretary Anita Karwal shared the guidelines with states and UTs, urging that these be studied thoroughly.

The state- and UT-level focus groups will recommend the required changes in various subjects in reports known as “position papers” following these guidelines. The guidelines state: “Each Position Paper should aim to illustrate how education in that particular curricular area would be transformed from the current reality of today to that envisaged in NEP 2020…. Global best practices in curriculum and pedagogy should be studied and adapted as appropriate to the Indian context.”

Position papers will be developed on 25 areas — from knowledge of India to social sciences to mathematics and gender education, among others.

“How will Indian history and the freedom struggle systems, heritage, and culture be incorporated into education in social sciences?” is among the questions that the focus groups drawing up position papers on social sciences will have to answer.

On gender education, the guidelines nudge the committees to identify specific learning needs of transgender children and answer ways to sensitise teachers about the Transgender Persons Act, 2019.

On language education, the groups will have to suggest ways on how the three-language formula envisaged in NEP-2020 should be implemented. The guidelines state: “When should the second and third languages be introduced? How can students be given flexibility in choosing their second and third languages? What is the best time/grade to introduce English as a subject…”

Cutting across subjects, the committees have been directed to suggest ways to reduce curricular load and strengthen focus on core areas. The need to incorporate Indian knowledge systems is another constant theme, be it in Arts, Sciences or Mathematics.