National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for the Foundational Stage is developed based on the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and to enable its implementation.
The Foundational Stage refers to children in the age group of 3 to 8 years, across the entire range of diverse institutions in India. This is the first Stage in the 5+3+3+4 Curricular and Pedagogical restructuring of School Education as envisioned in NEP 2020.
This is the first ever integrated Curriculum Framework for children between ages 3-8 in India. It is a direct outcome of the 5+3+3+4 ‘curricular and pedagogical’ structure that NEP 2020 has
come out with for School Education.
The Foundational Stage envisions an integrated approach to Early Childhood Care and Education; for children between ages 3-8. The transformative nature of this phase of education is expected to qualitatively improve the contents and outcomes of education, thereby, impacting the lives of our children towards a better future. All studies and research related to the early period of development of a child, unambiguously leads to the conclusion that high-quality care and education during this period has a lifetime of positive consequences for all individuals and thus, the nation. ( K Kasturirangan, Chairperson)
As articulated in NEP 2020, National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage, uses ‘play,’ at the core of the conceptual, operational, and transactional approaches to curriculum organization, pedagogy, time and content organization, and the overall experience of the child.
Children learn best through play, hence learning envisaged by the National Curriculum Framework will provide stimulating experiences for the child’s development in all dimensions – cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and will also enable the achievement of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy for all our children.
The NCF has an institutional focus, the importance of the home environment cannot be overemphasized – including family, extended family, neighbours, and others in the close community – all of whom have a very significant impact on the child, particularly in this age cohort of 3-8 years. Hence, this NCF will deal with the role of teachers as well as parents and communities in enabling and enhancing the developmental outcomes that are sought during this stage.
What is Curriculum?
Curriculum refers to the entirety of the organised experience of students in any institutional setting towards educational aims and objectives.
The elements that constitute and bring to life a Curriculum are numerous, and include goals and objectives, syllabi, content to be taught and learnt, pedagogical practices and assessment, teaching- learning materials, school and classroom practices, learning environment and culture of the institution, and more.
There are other matters that directly affect a Curriculum and its practice or are integrally related while not being within the Curriculum. These include the Teachers and their capacities, the involvement of parents and communities, issues of access to institutions, resources available, administrative and support structures, and more.
What is Curriculum Framework?
A Curriculum Framework must support exactly that – it is a framework to help develop all the diverse Curricula in the country, while enabling consonances and harmony across the
country and providing a basis for quality and equity.
Thus, a Curriculum Framework provides the guiding principles, goals, structure, and elements for the development of Curricula, informed by which the syllabi, teaching-learning-materials including play materials, workbooks, textbooks, and assessment methods will be developed by the relevant functionaries including Teachers in the States, Boards, and schools.