National Curriculum Framework Panel Lacks Experts, Claims AIPSN Demands Reconstructions

Claiming that the newly set-up National Curriculum Framework (NCF) committee is another step towards privatisation of education, the All India People’s Science Network (AIPSN) is demanding re-construction of the panel. AIPSN – a network of 40 people’s science movements claims that the steering committee has “no expertise in these crucial areas”.

In a statement, the group said, “Members include educational administrators and even entrepreneurs. This seems to be in line with the trend of the National Education Policy 2020 to usher in private players while making subservient established institutions of public education. Indeed surprisingly, no faculty members of NCERT are included, even though it is the apex national body responsible for the development of curricula; rather, the Director of NCERT is expected to ‘assist’ the Steering Committee.”

Seeking reconstruction of the committee the AIPSN said, “If there is a serious concern for the future of all our learners, the committee will need to address the challenges of education with a commitment to the Constitution and a focus on equity, quality and inclusion. “

They highlighted that the 12-member panel will be looking after reforms in the curriculum for early childhood, school, teacher, and adult education. “It is a matter of deep concern that the entire span of educational curriculum reform, from the early childhood years to adult education, has been entrusted to a small committee with no expertise in these crucial areas.”

This will be the fifth National Curriculum Framework (NCF) committee and will come after a gap of 16 years. The last NCF set-up in 2005 had 35 members including 11 from NCERT and 24 persons from across the country with experience and expertise in different domain areas. These included eminent academics from the social sciences, sciences, language and mathematics; school teachers, principals of schools and colleges, educationists, and leaders of educational and rights-based NGOs. An even larger group of well-known experts were invited as members of the different Focus Groups to work on the set of the position papers, AIPSN said.

AIPSN called for a re-constitution of the Steering Committee “with persons having a deep understanding about learners in diverse and disparate 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”.

MK Sridhar, a member of NCF said, “The NCF of the future will have a bottom-up approach. The framework will not be set up in Delhi, which is then sent to states for amendments. It is now going to have states that will do their curriculum and send it to the central organization in New Delhi. And based on these inputs, frame the national curriculum,” he said. The committee was announced early this week and is going to meet, discuss in future.

The committee will be headed by K Kasturirangan former chief of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was also the chairman of the drafting committee of the NEP 2020. Other members include Mahesh Chandra Pant Chancellor of National Institute of Education Planning and Administration, Govind Prasad Sharma Chairman of National Book Trust, Najma Akhtar Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, TV Kattimani Vice-Chancellor of the Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh, Milind Kamble Chairperson of IIM Jammu, Michel Danino guest professor at IIT Gandhinagar, Jagbir Singh Chancellor of the Central University of Punjab, Manjul Bhargava American mathematician, MK Sridhar social activist, Dhir Jhingran founder-director of Language and Learning Foundation (LLF), and Shankar Maruwada CEO at EkStep Foundation.

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