National curriculum framework for school education great expectations: Lt. Gen. Arjun Ray

EducationWorld March 2023 | Magazine

Lt. Gen. Arjun Ray
CEO, Indus Trust

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Arjun Ray, PVSM, VSM is chief executive and managing director of the Indus Trust (regstd.2001). Over the past two decades the trust has promoted the IB (Geneva)-affiliated Indus International Schools in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune which host an aggregate 2,900 children from over 30 countries.

Entrepreneurial skills. I hope the imminent NCFSE will highlight the importance of developing children’s entrepreneurial skills and competencies, creativity, critical thinking, innovation and ability to reskill and upskill. Primary-secondary education needs to be redesigned to re-build the entrepreneurial traditions of India.

Exams and assessments. School exams countrywide should test students’ ability to apply, evaluate, analyse, and infer, instead of memorisation skills. Testing and assessment should be continuous.

Inclusion and diversity. With rapid globalisation, cultural boundaries have blurred, and schools have students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The new national curriculum should include content which will teach children to appreciate our rich and diverse cultures.

Research. NEP 2020 accords high importance to research in higher education. In my opinion, a culture of reading, research and project-based learning must start in secondary school. The new national curriculum should encourage children to create new knowledge and apply it.

Integrate thinking skills. The new NCF should stimulate the creation of content that encourages children to think and learn differently. It is important for students to unlearn rote learning. This can happen only if they are encouraged to question the relevance of knowledge, cultural biases and mental conditioning.

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