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Experts call NEP-2020 a ‘liberating’ document, hail NCF 

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More focus groups meet over finalising position papers, SCF

Srinagar: Continuing with the exercise of finalising the position papers prepared by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), three more State Focus Groups (SFGs) held a consultative meet at the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) division office here at Bemina.

NCERT, tasked with the responsibility of framing the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), has formed several groups comprising experts from various fields to prepare position papers on some 25 themes/areas.

The NCF Committee has appointed chairpersons, member secretaries and members to prepare the position papers. Four NCFs have been laid out by the NEP 2020 on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), School Education (SE), Teacher Education (TE) and Adult Education (AE) have been laid out by the NEP 2020.

All states and UTs have been asked to prepare their State Curriculum Frameworks (SCFs) passing through the process of District Level Consultations (DLC), mobile app survey and development of position papers by the State Focus Groups in 25 areas/themes identified as per the NEP, 2020. 

The groups on Philosophy of Education, Adult Education and Teacher Education are led by Dr Najmah Peerzada, Associate Professor, School of Education & Behavioural Sciences, University of Kashmir, Dr Ghulam Hassan Mir, Head, Directorate of Lifelong Learning, University of Kashmir and Dr Syed Zahoor Ahmad Geelani, Dean and Head, School of Education, Central University of Kashmir respectively. 

NCERT has also sought the expertise of the former Director School Education Kashmir, Mohammad Rafi, whose know-how on the subject is well established. 

 SCERT has been nominated as a nodal agency to prepare the State Curriculum Framework (SCF) through a series of consultative meetings involving educationists, teacher educators, resource persons, representatives from Social Welfare Department, parents and neo-literates.

Dr Nazneen, HOD, Education Research Survey and Analysis (ERSA), SCERT, Fayaz Ahmad, Academic Officer, SCERT and Arshad Hussain Zargar, Academic Officer, District Institute of Education Research and Training (DIET) are the member secretaries.

Rakhi Atari, Senior Academic Officer, SCERT, Jammu and Shewta Kohli, Academic Officer, SCERT, Jammu attended the meeting via Zoom.

“In all 70 questions—40 for School Education, 10 each for ECCE, Adult Education and Teacher Education—were prepared by the NCERT,” Academic Officer, G H Reshi, who has been appointed as Nodal Officer, SCF, informed.

Describing NEP-2020 as a ‘liberating’ document, Ex Director Rafi, said the main USP of the policy is its seamless movement across various disciplines. “Could you ever imagine a student studying mechanical engineering and ending up passing out as a graduate in Economics,” Rafi wondered. “This was, until some time ago, quite unthinkable.”

The kind of participation we are witnessing today, he said, is way wider than it had been on the previous occasion.

Pertinently, the NCERT had dispatched a team last month to interact with diverse stakeholders at a consultative meet on the SCF. 

“The inclusion of local flavour in the curriculum would help cast aside rigidity and exclusivity,” Prof Anita Nuna, former head, Department of Curriculum Studies, NCERT, New Delhi, said. “The National Education Policy 2020 has been designed in a manner that it allows—through discussions and consultative meetings with the stakeholders—the inclusion of the local flavour, value systems, socio-economic backgrounds and the best practices of any state or UT before the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) is given a shape.”

A bottom-up procedure, she said, had been adopted for the first time to frame the national curriculum based on several novel concepts such as competency-based education, experiential learning, flexibility, creative and critical thinking.

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