National Curriculum Framework (NCF) Proposes Board Exams Twice a Year

New Delhi, August 24, 2023 – Β The Union Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, unveiled the latest developments in the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), aligning with the National Education Policy 2020. The eagerly awaited reforms include the introduction of bi-annual board examinations, mandatory study of Indian languages, and an expanded range of minimum subjects for Classes 9 to 12.

One of the most notable changes is the implementation of board exams twice a year. This will allow students to demonstrate their understanding and competency more frequently. This shift aims to reduce the undue pressure associated with the singular high-stakes exam format and instead foster continuous learning and assessment stated in the NCF.

The NCF puts emphasis on the study of Indian languages. As per the NEP 2020, students must undertake the study of two languages including one of Indian origin.Β 

The new framework also grants students greater flexibility in selecting subjects. The earlier paradigm of restricting subjects to specific streams has been discontinued, giving students the liberty to choose subjects according to their interests and aptitudes.

The final NCF now states that in the long term, all boards should change to semester or term-based systems. β€œBoard exams will be offered at least twice a year to ensure students have enough time and opportunity to perform well.

Currently, most school boards, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), assess students on two languages in the Class 10 board exam and one language in the Class 12 board exam. However, some state boards mandate the teaching of a regional language up to Class 10, such as Marathi in Maharashtra and Bengali in West Bengal.Β 

The changes in the NCF makes the study of Indian languages imperative across schools and boards, contrary to the optional nature of these subjects at present. Students will also have the option to appear for board exams only in the subjects they feel comfortable with.

A remarkable feature of the revamped NCF is the call for examiners and evaluators to undergo certified courses before engaging in their roles. The NCF document has also addressed concerns about the cost of textbooks. It focuses on the need to optimise textbook costs and discourages the common practice of covering textbooks in classrooms entirely.Β 

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The new curriculum framework is expected to come into effect from the academic year 2024.Β 

National Education Policy 2020 and the NCF are not binding on the states. The NEP is a policy that states are free to adopt, while the NCF provides guidelines on how school education should be conducted in classrooms.

It also offers students the freedom to pursue a mix of science and humanities to reduce the rigid boundaries separating arts, commerce and science in Classes 11 and 12 across school boards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the key changes introduced in the National Curriculum Framework (NCF)?

A: The NCF introduces bi-annual board exams, mandatory study of Indian languages, and increased flexibility in selection of subjects for classes 9 to 12.

Q: Why are board exams being held twice a year now?

A: The change aims to reduce pressure and promote continuous learning, allowing students to demonstrate their understanding more frequently as stated in the NCF.

Q: According to the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), how many languages are mandatory to study?

A: Students must study two languages, with at least one being of Indian origin, as per the the National Curriculum Framework (NCF).

Q: What’s the significance of discontinuing the practice of subject restrictions for students?

A: Recently introduced changes in NCF mandates that students now have the freedom to select subjects based on their interests and aptitudes, departing from the earlier stream-specific approach.

Q: Will the students be able to select the subjects for writing board exams?

A: Yes, students will have the option to choose the subjects they feel comfortable to appear in and write in the board exams.

Q: When will the new curriculum framework be implemented?

A: The new curriculum framework is expected to be implemented from the academic year 2024.

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