Decoding the Importance of the National Curriculum Framework with Subir Shukla

Last year, India released its much-awaited National Education Policy (NEP): which guides the overall objectives and goals of India’s education system. But, what do you teach in classrooms to achieve these goals?

This is where the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) comes in: this is a key document that lays out what millions of students across the country will learn while in school. The last version of the NCF was released in 2005 under the UPA government. Now, with the release of the 2020 NEP, a new NCF is being drafted. What might set this NCF apart from its predecessor? What sort of issues should it focus on the most? And, can a committee dominated by elderly men accurately represent the interests of India’s diverse education system?

To answer these questions and much more, we spoke to Subir Shukla, an Educational Improvement Quality Advisor to governments across Asia, and formerly to the erstwhile Ministry of Human Resource Development. In this interview with The Bastion’s Aarathi Ganesan edited by Manasi Nene, Shukla spells out why theoretically sophisticated NCFs may not always cater to the practical realities of India’s classrooms. What is needed is a holistic, practical, and scalable policy framework that suits the needs of both our students and our teachers.

Aside from her work as Editor at The Bastion, Aarathi explores the cultural intersections between gender, technology, and development in South Asia in her free time.
Manasi is a writer, filmmaker, and musician who is keen on exploring issues of education, technology and community mental health. She has also been active in the beatboxing and slam poetry communities of India. Off-the-clock, she can be found cycling, daydreaming, or daydreaming about cycling. Manasi works as The Bastion's Multimedia Associate.

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