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The basic questions addressed in NCF 2005

What educational purposes should the schools seek to achieve?

What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to achieve these purposes?

How can these educational experiences be meaningfully organised?

How do we ensure that these educational purposes are indeed being accomplished?

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NCF 2005 SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1
• Strengthening a national system of education in a pluralistic society.
• Reducing the curriculum load based on insights provided in 'Learning Without Burden'.
• Systemic changes in tune with curricular reforms.
• Curricular practices based on the values enshrined in the Constitution, such as social justice, equality, and secularism.
• Ensuring quality education for all children.
• Building a citizenry committed to democratic practices, values, sensitivity towards gender justice, problems faced by the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, needs of the
disabled, and capacities to participate in economic and political processes.
CHAPTER 2
• Reorientation of our perception of learners and learning.
• Holistic approach in the treatment of learners' development and learning.
• Creating an inclusive environment in the classroom for all students.
• Learner engagement for construction of knowledge and fostering of creativity.
• Active learning through the experiential mode.
• Adequate room for voicing children's thoughts, curiosity, and questions in curricular practices.
• Connecting knowledge across disciplinary boundaries to provide a broader frame work for insightful construction of knowledge.
• Forms of learner engagement — observing, exploring, discovering, analysing, critical reflection,
etc. — are as important as the content of knowledge.
• Activities for developing critical perspectives on socio-cultural realities need to find space in
curricular practices.
• Local knowledge and children's experiences are essential components of text books and pedagogic practices.
• Children engaged in undertaking environment-related projects may contribute to generation of knowledge that could help create a transparent public database on India's environment.
• The school years are a period of rapid development, with changes and shifts in hildren's capabilities, attitudes and interests that have implications for choosing
and organising the content and process of knowledge.
CHAPTER 3
Language
• Language skills — speech and listening, reading and writing — cut across school subjects and isciplines. Their foundational role in children's construction of knowledge right from
elementary classes through senior secondary classes needs to be recognised.
• A renewed effort should be made to implement the three-language formula, emphasising he recognition of children's home language(s) or mother tongue(s) as the best medium of
instruction. These include tribal languages.
• English needs to find its place along with other Indian languages.
• The multilingual character of Indian society should be seen as a resource for the enrichment of school life.
Mathematics
• Mathematisation (ability to think logically, formulate and handle abstractions) rather than 'knowledge' of mathematics (formal and mechanical procedures) is the main goal of
teaching mathematics.
• The teaching of mathematics should enhance children's ability to think and reason, to visualise and handle abstractions, to formulate and solve problems. Access to quality mathematics education is the right of every child.
Science
• Content, process and language of science teaching must be commensurate with the learner's age-range and cognitive reach.
• Science teaching should engage the learners in acquiring methods and processes that will nurture their curiosity and creativity, particularly in relation to the environment.
• Science teaching should be placed in the wider context of children;s environment to equip them with the requisite knowledge and skills to enter the world of work.
• Awareness of environmental concerns must permeate the entire school curriculum.
Social Sciences
• Social science content needs to focus on conceptual understanding rather than lining up facts to be memorised for examination, and should equip children with the ability to think independently and reflect critically on social issues.
• Interdisciplinary approaches, promoting key national concerns such as gender, justice, human rights, and sensitivity to marginalised groups and minorities.
• Civics should be recast as political science, and the significance of history as a shaping influence
on the children's conception of the past and civic identity should be recognised.

Work
• School curricula from the pre-primary stage to the senior secondary stage need to be
reconstructed to realise the pedagogic potential of work as a pedagogic medium in
knowledge acquisition, developing values and multiple-skill formation.
Art
• Arts (folk and classical forms of music and dance, visual arts, puppetry, clay work, theatre, etc.) and heritage crafts should be recognised as integral components of the school curriculum.
• Awareness of their relevance to personal, social, economic and aesthetic needs should be built among parents, school authorities and administrators.

• The arts should comprise a subject at every stage of school education.
Peace
• Peace-oriented values should be promoted in all subjects throughout the school years with the help of relevant activities.
• Peace education should form a component of teacher education.
Health and Physical Education
• Health and physical education are necessary for the overall development of learners. Through health and physical education programmes (including yoga), it may be possible to handle successfully the issues of enrolment, retention and completion of school.
Habitat and Learning
• Environmental education may be best pursued by infusing the issues and concerns of the environment into the teaching of different disciplines at all levels while ensuring that adequate time is earmarked for pertinent activities.
CHAPTER 4
• Availability of minimum infrastructure and material facilities, and support for planning a flexible daily schedule, are critical for improved teacher performance.
• A school culture that nurtures children's identities as 'learners' enhances the potential and interests of each child.
• Specific activities ensuring participation of all children — abled and disabled — are essential conditions for learning by all.
• The value of self-discipline among learners through democratic functioning is as relevant as ever.
• Participation of community members in sharing knowledge and experience in a subject area helps in forging a partnership between school and community.
• Reconceptualisation of learning resources in terms of
- textbooks focused on elaboration of concepts, activities, problems and exercises encouraging reflective thinking and group work.
- supplementary books, workbooks, teachers' handbooks, etc. based on fresh thinking and new perspectives.
- multimedia and ICT as sources for two-way interaction rather than one-way reception.
- school library as an intellectual space for teachers, learners and members of the community to deepen their knowledge and connect with the wider world.
• Decentralised planning of school calendar and daily schedule and autonomy for teacher professionalism practices are basic to creating a learning environment.
CHAPTER 5
• Quality concern, a key feature of systemic reform, implies the system's capacity to reform itself by enhancing its ability to remedy its own weaknesses and to develop new capabilities.
• It is desirable to evolve a common school system to ensure comparable quality in different regions of the country and also to ensure that when children of different backgrounds
study together, it improves the overall quality of learning and enriches the school ethos.
• A broad framework for planning upwards, beginning with schools for identifying focus areas and subsequent consolidation at the cluster and block levels, could form a decentralised planning strategy at the district level.
• Meaningful academic planning has to be done in a participatory manner by headmasters and teachers.
• Monitoring quality must be seen as a process of sustaining interaction with individual schools in terms of teaching–learning processes.
• Teacher education programmes need to be reformulated and strengthened so that the teacher can be an :
- encouraging, supportive and humane facilitator in teaching–learning situations to enable learners (students) to discover their talents, to realise their physical and intellectual
potentialities to the fullest, to develop character and desirable social and human values to function as responsible citizens; and
- active member of a group of persons who make conscious efforts for curricular renewal so that it is relevant to changing social needs and the personal needs of learners.
• Reformulated teacher education programmes that place thrust on the active involvement of learners in the process of knowledge construction, shared context of learning, teacher as a facilitator of knowledge construction, multidisciplinary nature of knowledge of teacher education, integration theory and practice dimensions, and engagement with issues and
concerns of contemporary Indian society from a critical perspective.
• Centrality of language proficiency in teacher education and an integrated model of teacher education for strengthening professionalisation of teachers assume significance.
• In-service education needs to become a catalyst for change in school practices.
• The Panchayati Raj system should be strengthened by evolving a mechanism to regulate the functioning of parallel bodies at the village level so that democratic participation in
development can be realised.
• Reducing stress and enhancing success in examinations necessitate:
- a shift away from content-based testing to problem solving skills and understanding.
The prevailing typology of questions asked needs a radical change.
- a shift towards shorter examinations.
- an examination with a 'flexible time limit'.
- setting up of a single nodal agency for coordinating the design and conduct of entrance examinations.
• Institutionalisation of work-centred education as an integrated part of the school curriculum from the pre-primary to the +2 stage is expected to lay the necessary foundation for
reconceptualising and restructuring vocational education to meet the challenges of a globalised economy.
• Vocational Education and Training (VET) need to be conceived and implemented in a mission mode, involving the establishment of separate VET centres and institutions from
the level of village clusters and blocks to sub-divisional/district towns and metropolitan areas in collaboration with the nation wide spectrum of facilities already existing in this sector.
• Availability of multiple textbooks to widen teachers' choices and provide for the diversity in children's needs and interests.
• Sharing of teaching experiences and diverse classroom practices to generate new ideas a n d facilitate innovation and experimentation.
• Development of syllabi, textbooks and teaching-learning resources could be carried out in a decentralised and participatory manner involving teachers, experts from universities, NGOs and teachers' organisations.