Currently, children in the age group of 3-6 are not covered in the 10+2 structure as Class 1 begins at age 6. In the new 5+3+3+4 structure, a strong base of Early Childhood Care and
Education (ECCE) from age 3 is also included, which is aimed at promoting better overall learning, development, and well-being.

1. Early Childhood Care and Education: The Foundation of Learning

1.1. Over 85% of a child’s cumulative brain development occurs prior to the age of 6,
indicating the critical importance of appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in the early years in order to ensure healthy brain development and growth. Presently, quality ECCE is not available to crones of young children, particularly children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Strong investment in ECCE has the potential to give all young children such access, enabling them to participate and flourish in the educational system throughout their lives. Universal provisioning of quality early childhood development, care, and education must thus be achieved as soon as possible, and no later than 2030, to ensure
that all students entering Grade 1 are school ready.

1.2. ECCE ideally consists of flexible, multi-faceted, multi-level, play-based, activity-based, and inquiry-based learning, comprising of alphabets, languages, numbers, counting, colours, shapes, indoor and outdoor play, puzzles and logical thinking, problem-solving, drawing, painting, and other visual art, craft, drama and puppetry, music and movement. It also
includes a focus on developing social capacities, sensitivity, good behavior, courtesy, ethics, personal and public cleanliness, teamwork, and cooperation. The overall aim of ECCE will be to attain optimal outcomes in the domains of physical and motor development, cognitive development, socio-emotional-ethical development, cultural/artistic development, and the development of communication and early language, literacy, and numeracy.

1.3. A National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8 will be developed by NCERT in two parts, namely, a sub-framework for 0-3 year-olds, and a sub-framework for 3-8 year-olds, aligned with the above guidelines, the latest research on ECCE, and national and international best practices. In particular, the numerous rich local traditions of India developed over millennia in ECCE involving art, stories, poetry, games, songs, and more will also be suitably incorporated. The framework will serve as a guide both for parents and for early childhood care and education institutions.

1.4. The overarching goal will be to ensure universal access to high-quality ECCE across the country in a phased manner. Special attention and priority will be given to districts and locations that are particularly socio-economically disadvantaged. ECCE shall be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened system of early-childhood education
institutions consisting of (a) stand-alone Anganwadis; (b) Anganwadis co-located with primary schools; (c) pre-primary schools/sections covering at least age 5 to 6 years co-located with existing primary schools; and (d) stand-alone pre-schools all of which would recruit workers/teachers specially trained in the curriculum and pedagogy of ECCE.

1.5. For universal access to ECCE, Anganwadi Centres will be strengthened with high-quality infrastructure, play equipment, and well-trained Anganwadi workers/teachers. Every Anganwadi will have a well-ventilated, well-designed, child-friendly and, well-constructed building with an enriched teaming environment. Children in Anganwadi Centres shall take activity-filled tours – and meet the teachers and students of their local prim, schools, in order to make the transition from Anganwadi Centres to primary schools a smooth one. Anganwadis shall be fully integrated into school complexes/clusters, and Anganwadi children, parents, and teachers will be invited to attend and participate in school/school complex programs and vice versa.

1.6. It is envisaged that prior to the age of 5 every child will move to a “Preparatory Class” or “Balavatika” (that is, before Class 1), which has an ECCE-qualified teacher. The learning in the Preparatory Class shall be based primarily on play-based Teaming with a focus on developing cognitive, affective, and psychomotor abilities and early literacy and numeracy. The mid2. Restructuring school curriculum and pedagogy, in a new 5+3+3+4 design

2.1. The curricular and pedagogical structure of school education will be reconfigured to make it responsive and relevant to the developmental needs and interests of learners at different stages of their development, corresponding to the age range of 3-8, 8-11, 11-14 and 14-18 years respectively. The curricular and pedagogical structure and the curricular framework for school education will therefore be guided by a 5+3+3+4 d.ign, consisting of the Foundational Stage (in two parts, that is, 3 years of Anganwadi/pre-school + 2 years in primary, school in Grades 1-2; both together covering ages 3-8), Preparatory Stage (Grades 3-5, covering ages 8-11). Middle Stage (Grades 6-8. covering ages 11-14), and Secondary Stage (Grades 9-12 in two phases, i.e. 9 and 10 in the first and 11 and 12 in the second, covering ages 14-18).

2.2. The Foundational Stage will consist of five years of flexible, multilevel, play/activity-based learning and the curriculum and pedagogy of ECCE as mentioned in pars 1.2. The Preparatory Stage will comprise three years of education building on the play, discovery, and activity-based pedagogical and curricular style of the Foundational Stage, and will also begin to incorporate some light textbooks as well as aspects of more formal but interactive classroom learning, in order to lay a solid groundwork across subjects, including reading, writing, speaking, physical education, art, languages, science, and mathematics. The Middle Stage will comprise three years of education, building on the pedagogical and curricular style of the Preparatory Stage. but with the introduction of subject teachers for learning and discussion of the more abstract concepts in each subject that students will be ready for at this stage across the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities. Experiential learning within each subject, and explorations of relations among different subjects, will be encouraged and emphasized despite the introduction of more specialized subjects and subject teachers. The Secondary Stage will comprise of four years of multidisciplinary study, building on the subject-oriented pedagogical and curricular style of the Middle Stage, but with greater depth, greater critical thinking, greater attention to life aspirations, and greater 3 flexibility and student choice of subjects. In particular, students would continue to have the option of exiting after Grade 10

3. Empower students through flexibility in course choices

3.1. Students will be given increased flexibility and choice of subjects to study, particularly in second, school – including subjects in physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills — so that they can design their own paths of study and life plans. Holistic development and a wide choice of subjects and courses year to year will be the new distinguishing feature of second, school education. There will be no hard separation among ‘curricular’, ‘extracurricular’, or ‘co-curricular, among `arts’, ‘humanities’, and ‘science.”. or between ‘vocational’ or ‘academic’ streams. Subjects such as physical education, the arts and crafts, and vocational skills, in addition to science, humanities, and mathematics, will be incorporated throughout the school curriculum, with a consideration for what is interesting and safe at each age.

3.2. Each of the four-stage of school education, in accordance with what may be possible in different regions may consider moving towards a semester or any other system that allows the inclusion of shorter modules, or courses that are taught on alternate days, at order to allow exposure to more subjects and enable greater flexibility. Stats may look into innovative methods to achieve these aims of greater flexibility and exposure to and enjoyment of a wider range of subjects, including across the arts, sciences, humanities, languages, sports, and vocational subjects.

4. Multilingualism and the power of language

4.1. It is well understood that young children team and grasp, nontrivial concepts more quickly in the home language/mother tongue. Home language is usually the same language as the mother tongue or that which is spoken by local communities. However, at times in multi-lingual families, there can be a home language spoken by other family members which may sometimes be different from the mother tongue or local language. Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language. Thereafter, the home/local language shall continue to be taught as a language wherever possible. This will be followed by both public and private schools. High-quality textbooks, including in science, will be made available in home languages/mother tongue. All efforts will be made early on to er. you’re that any gaps that exist between the language spoken by the child and the medium of teaching are bridged. In cases where home language/mother-tongue textbook material is not available, the language of the transaction between teachers and students will still remain the home language/mother-tongue wherever possible. Teachers will be encouraged to use a bilingual approach, including bilingual teaching-learning materials, with those students who. home language may be different from the medium of instruction. All languages will be taught with high quality to all students; a language does not need to be the medium of instruction for it to be taught and learned well.

5. National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE)
5.1. The formulation of a new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be undertaken by the NCERT – based on the principles of this National Education Policy 2020, frontline curry lum needs, and after discussions with all stakeholders including State Governments. Ministries, relevant Departments of the Central
Government and other expert bodies and will be made available in all regional languages. The NCFSE document shall henceforth be revisited and updated once every 5-10 years, taking into account the frontline curriculum. National Textbooks with Local Content and Flavour

5.2. The reduction in content and increased flexibility of a school curriculum – and the renewed emphasis on constructive rather than rote teaming – must be accompanied by parallel changes in school textbooks. All textbooks shall aim to contain the essential core material (together with discussion, analysis, examples, and applications) deemed important on a national level, but at the same time contain any desired nuances and supplement, material per lo.1 contexts and needs. Where possible, schools and teachers will have choices in the textbooks they employ – from among a set of textbooks that contain the requisite national and local material – so that they may teach in a manner that is best suited to their own pedagogical styles as well as to their student’s and communities needs.

5.3. The aim will be to provide such quality textbooks at the lowest possible cost -namely, at the cost of production/printing – in order to mitigate the burden of textbook prices on the students and on the educational system. This may be accomplished by using high-quality textbook materials developed by NCERT in conjunction with the SCERTs; additional textbook materials could be funded by public-philanthropic partnerships and crowdsourcing that incentivize experts to write such high-quality textbooks at cost price. Stat. will prepare their own curricula (which may be based on the NCFSE prepared by NCERT to the extent possible) and prepare textbooks (which may be based on the NCERT textbook materials to the extent possible), incorporating State flavor and material as needed. While doing so, it must be borne in mind that the NCERT curriculum would be taken as the nationally acceptable criterion. The availability of such textbooks in all regional languages will be a top priority so that all students have access to high-quality learning. All efforts will be made to ensure timely availability of textbooks in schools. Access to downloadable and printable versions of all textbooks will be provided by all States/UTs and NCERT to help conserve the environment and reduce the logistical burden.

5.4. Concerted efforts, through suitable changes in curriculum and pedagogy, will be made by NCERT, SCERTs, schools, and educators to significantly reduce the weight of school bags and textbooks.