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Letter from the Editor

EducationWorld August 2023 | Letter from the Editor Magazine

Dilip Thakore

On the eve of the new millennium when this publication was launched, we ventured forth into uncharted waters when EducationWorld became the first education-focused magazine in Indian history. Our avowed mission was — and remains — “to build the pressure of public opinion to make education the #1 item on the national agenda”. Since then, much water has flown down the Ganges and although this mission has not been accomplished mainly because of the obstinacy of successive Central and state governments to increase their combined expenditure for public education to 6 percent of GDP as recommended by the Kothari Commission way back in 1967. But now two decades later, there is unprecedented public focus on education and an emerging consensus that developing the country’s abundant human resource is the precondition of India reclaiming its rightful place at the top table of comity of nations.

It is in this spirit of willingness to enter uncharted waters that in this issue, we have attempted to translate and summarise the ‘predraft’ 628-page National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE) 2023 released by the Union education ministry for public comment on April 7. Although this comprehensive roadmap is described as a predraft, to all intents and purposes it is a draft which, with minor amendments, is likely to become the official guidance document to realise the ambitious goals of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which recommends root and branch reform of the country’s obsolete preschool to Ph D education system.

Since unusually the draft NCFSE 23 doesn’t feature a foreword or summary, we have attempted to summarise this detailed roadmap presented to teacher trainers and teachers communities in particular, but also of interest to educationists, parents and self-driven students. Our objective is to allay the fears of educators who may be intimidated by the sheer size of the NCFSE 2023 draft and assure them that in reality, it is an educator-friendly document designed for easy navigation.

Indeed the 13-member NCF Steering Committee, chaired by the indefatigable Dr. K. Kasturirangan (who also chaired the high-level committee that drafted the 483-page draft National Education Policy in 2019 which culminated in the 68-page NEP 2020), has done a good job in the design and road mapping of NCFSE 2023 for educators to attain the ambitious goals of NEP 2020. Yet the question whether the country’s ill-trained educators community is capable of following the exhaustive NCFSE roadmap, i.e, implement comprehensive reforms of NEP 2020, is a moot point. These are the issues of critical import discussed in our ambitious — perhaps too ambitious, you tell us — cover feature.

Of course, there’s a lot else in this Independence Day issue. Check out the very interesting Ed News and People sections, as also Expert Comment essays. Abundant food for thought.

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