September 21, 2023


education gives you strength

National Education Policy 2020 | New curriculum, assessment system to roll out from academic year 2021-22

Government unveils timelines for implementation.

Students who are currently in Class 7 will be the first to write their school-leaving board examinations using a fully transformed examination pattern in 2025-26, according to the Centre’s proposed implementation timelines for the National Education Policy.

Those who are now in Class 8 will be the first batch to experience the new curricular framework and assessment system, starting next year, according to the Department of School Education and Literacy’s plans to turn the NEP’s proposals into reality in schools.

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300 tasks

So far, the department has identified 300 tasks for a wide range of implementing agencies — both within and beyond the Education Ministry — to carry out over the next five years, according to a presentation prepared for stakeholders last week. This will ensure implementation of new policies, from early childhood education and functional literacy and numeracy to mother tongue medium education and revamped teacher training.

“These are the proposed timelines being circulated as draft for feedback,” School Education Secretary Anita Karwal told The Hindu on Saturday.

The starting point is the National Curriculum Framework, which will be prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), for school education and for adult education by 2021. The State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) are expected to adapt and adopt this new curriculum at the State level by 2022. The NCERT and SCERTs will redesign textbooks in three phases between 2021 and 2024.

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Students currently in Class 8 will start using the new curriculum, textbooks and assessment system in the next academic year 2021-22, as they enter Class 9, and will continue to be pioneers for the new framework as they move up the school till Class 12.

Photo: Union Ministry of Education

Photo: Union Ministry of Education


With regard to the incorporation of competency-based questions into the board examination pattern, this has already begun with 2020’s exam papers containing 10% questions of this type. A gradual increase of such questions requiring reasoning and application will replace the rote learning type of questions, until competency-based questions make up 50-60% of the examination by 2025-26, according to a senior official of the Central Board of Secondary Education.

“Board reform by CBSE to be completed by 2025-2026,” says the timeline presentation. This means that students currently in Class 7, who will be in Class 12 in 2025-26 will be the first to write the examination once reforms are completed.

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Teacher training

Separately, the new teacher training curriculum will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, and adopted by universities offering B.Ed degrees the following year, according to the proposed timelines.

At the same time, a course will be developed to train anganwadi workers in pre-school education in 2021, with course completion expected by 2024. To start with, from 2022, one year Balvatika programmes will be started at anganwadis and pre-schools, along with a 3-month preparatory module for Class 1 students. In the second phase, in 2023-24, another year of pre-primary education will be added through primary school and anganwadis, thus integrating the first five years of education as envisioned by NEP.

Unlike the curricular and board exam changes, ECCE implementation has been identified as a policy with financial implications, which may need a budget allocation to carry out. The same holds true for the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission, which will be rolled out by 2021-22 if funds are allocated.

To benchmark progress, National Achievement Surveys are proposed to be conducted in 2021, 2023 and 2025 to test the language and math skills of Class 3 students. State Achievement Surveys are proposed for 2022, 2024 and 2026.


With regard to teaching students in their own mother tongues or home languages, mapping will first be carried out in selected areas, and teachers identified. SCERT will be responsible to train teachers and develop resources to facilitate gradual changes in the medium of instruction till Class 5.

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