The council aims to train 33,000 key resource persons and 42 lakh elementary school teachers by 2020 to address gaps in curriculum delivery and improve learning outcomes among the students
There is a gap between the expectations of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the present classroom learning, which is why high-scoring students fail to acquire skills to face life’s challenges, says Hrushikesh Senapaty, director NCERT. “NCERT books are designed following the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) developed in 2005 and follow a child-centric pedagogy. These books discourage rote learning.”
Senapaty negates the general perception of NCERT books being in a complex language. “The books are being taught for about a decade in the CBSE schools and across Kendriya Vidyalayas at different levels. If there were language issues, those would have been implicit by now.”
In the past, the Council had invited suggestions from the teachers and stakeholders for the rationalisation of the textbooks and lessen the content load if required. On the subject of whether the Council aims to review and revamp the text books which have often been mired in controversies about distortion of history and facts, Senapaty says, “Once the new National Education Policy (NEP) gets implemented, plans are on to develop a new NCF. This will provide us with the guidelines for developing the new syllabus and textbooks, the work for which will be completed by April 2023.”
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Presently, the problem, according to Senapaty, does not lie with the books per se, but the manner in which the lessons are transacted. “This often drives students to resort to various reference books. The concept of a conducive learning environment is still a pipedream since teachers are busy transacting the lessons without acting as facilitators. In an age where we are emphasising on students’ critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, students should be assigned different projects and activities where they engage in teamwork and share their interpersonal experiences,” Senapaty tells Education Times.
NCERT books, he adds, focus on developing students’ problem-solving skills and conceptual knowledge, which are the key to success in both the competitive and board exams. “If the purpose is to develop 21st century learning skills among the students, they should not be spoon fed through guidebooks as a shortcut to success.”
To address the gaps in curriculum delivery, NCERT has provided training to 23,000 key resource persons and 12 lakh teachers through its National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) programme initiated on August 21, 2019. Barring West Bengal, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh-three states that are likely to be inducted after March 2020-the programme were launched across 33 states and Union Territories. “We aim to train 33,000 key resource persons and 42 lakh elementary school teachers by 2020 to ensure that NCERT books are transacted in the spirit with which they were developed,” adds Senapaty.
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