(The Author is a Curriculum Guidance Consultant empanelled with the Institute)
On July 29 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the NEP 2020. A number of vlogs, blogs and posts have since been circulating, explaining the spirit of the Policy and what it has in store for schools.
In a two-part series, let’s acquaint ourselves with what the NEP 2020 means for all students from ages 3 upwards. This Blog is for students under the age of 9.
1.) AGE GROUP: Known as the Foundational Stage, this category earlier had children from classes Nursery , KG and Prep. This was known as ‘pre primary school.’ The NEP 2020 has now included classes I and II also in the Foundational Stage.
Essentially, children between the age groups of 3 years to 8 years will be part of the Foundational Stage under ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education). This shall be followed in all public as well as private schools.
2.) FOCUS: The early years in a child’s life are very important since 90% of brain development has already taken place by the time a child is 6 years of age. Science tells us that development of the brain is influenced not only by health, nutrition and quality of care but also the quality of psycho-social environment the child grows up in!
3.) MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION: One of the most significant highlights is that children from class Nursery to class V will be taught in their mother tongue or regional language, in some cases, this will be till class VIII.Whether this will extend to private schools- remains to be seen.
3.) CURRICULUM: NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8.Foundational Literacy and Numeracy are basic foundational requirements for learning in class III upwards.Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) curriculum includes all aspects of care, health, nutrition, play and early learning which will help the student develop better literacy and numeracy.
4.) TRACKING LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will be observed on the basis of Learning Outcomes they are able to achieve. This requires daily observations in class.
5.) PROGRESS CARD NOT REPORT CARD: Report cards will be replaced by a detailed progress report, sharing all the capabilities and accomplishments of the student, instead of only marks and one-line statements.