5 December 2022

New Delhi: For the first time, pre-primary school children have come within the formal schooling system in India with the government on Thursday unveiling the first National Framework Curriculum ( NCF ) for the foundational stage ( 3-8 years ) in line with the National Education Policy – 2020.

Dedicating the curriculum for early childhood care and education ( ECCE ), the first of the four NCFs in the making, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘ Balvatika ‘ at Kendriya Vidyalayas, marking the inclusion of pre-primary classes in the formal schooling system.

Focusing on cognitive and socio-emotional development, the NCF emphasizes learning through play as it also stresses stories, arts, games, sports, examples, and problems rooted in Indian and local contexts as well as on the development of early literacy and numeracy.

under a formal school system
under a formal school system

ECCE under the Anganwadi system primarily focused on the nutrition of a child, while in the private sphere, the playschool system has been unregulated. The new framework has listed the Pancha kosha concept for the education of children in the 3-8 years age group and its five parts are physical development ( sharirik Vikas ), development of life energy ( pranic Vikas ), emotional and mental development ( manasic Vikas ), intellectual development ( bauddhik Vikas ) and spiritual development ( chaitsik Vikas ).

Pradhan said: ” The most important aspect of NEP has been the development of the national curriculum for school education because it is futuristic. Preparing the curriculum for the age group of three to eight has been the most critical as well as challenging because experts and scientists have proved that 85 % of brain development happens by the age of seven or eight. Therefore, designing the curriculum for the foundational stage is the most important aspect of the NCF. “

” We are laying the foundation for the creation of responsible global citizens of the 21st century yet rooted in Indian tradition and values, ” added Pradhan. ” For the first time, in 50 Kendriya Vidyalayas on the pilot mode we are launching play schools in an institutionalized form with a targeted learning outcome on a pedagogy based on this NCE, ” he said.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training ( NCERT ) and the education ministry have initiated the process of development of four NCFS in 2021 in the areas of early childhood care and education, school education, teacher education, and adult education as a part of the implementation of the NEP 2020. According to K Kasturirangan, chairperson of the national steering committee for NCFS, ” This is based on cutting – edge research from across the world in multiple disciplines which includes among other things better understanding in the fields of neurosciences, brain study, and cognitive sciences. “

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