Ministry of Education has recently constituted a National Steering Committee (SC) for the development of National Curriculum Frameworks. The committee headed by K Kasturirangan, former head Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has 12 members.
The committee consists of members from diverse fields ranging from academics to entrepreneurs to social activist. But absence of direct representation from NCERT which prepares school textbooks is a cause of concern among various academicians. They want the NCF SC to be reconstituted. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Education, director NCERT shall assist the SC to complete its module.
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A former NCERT director on condition of anonymity tells that participation of experts from NCERT is essential in NCF committee. “The Council ultimately being the implementing agency of the curriculum must have increased direct participation instead of just assisting the SC. A total of 11 experts were from the NCERT in the 35-member team of NCF that was constituted in 2005,” says the former official.
As per the perspectives of the NEP 2020, the Committee will develop four National Curriculum Frameworks- i.e., the National Curriculum Framework for School Education, National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education, National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education and National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education.
Despite having a wide experience in areas related to school education and textbooks, NCERT has been completely ignored by the government, says P Rajamanickam, a retired professor of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), currently the general secretary of All India Peoples Science Network (AIPSN), a network of over forty science organisations spread all over the country.
“Instead of having NEP members in the committee, it would have been better to have included grassroot level educationists and NCERT experts as members. The committee entrusted to prepare curriculum is very small with no expertise in these crucial areas,” says Rajamanickam.
When contacted by the Education Times, NCERT officials refused to comment on the matter stating that there was no development on NCF to be shared.
AIPSN in a statement has also called for a re-constitution of the Steering Committee with persons having a deep understanding about learners in diverse socio-cultural contexts, disciplinary knowledge of school education and domain expertise in teacher education/adult education, as well as sound experience of the pedagogical processes required to develop a National Curriculum Framework.