Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the  National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for the foundational stage on Thursday.

This refers to children in the age group of three to eight years.

Speaking at the launch, Pradhan said, “'Experts and scientists have proved that 85 per cent of brain development happens by the age of seven or eight.”

He said that he expects the NCERT to complete the new syllabus and textbooks for the foundational level by Basant Panchami next year, which would mean February 2023.

Here are the salient features of the NCF for the foundational stage:

1. It has been recommended that the mother tongue should be the primary medium of instruction for children in both private and public schools.

2. The aim of this NCF is that every child in the three to eight age group should have access to free, safe, high-quality, developmentally-appropriate Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) by the year 2025.

3. The NCF uses play as the basis of understanding for this age group. Play is at the core of the curriculum and the overall experience of the child.

4. The NCF states that in the first three years of the Foundational Stage, there should not be any prescribed textbooks.

5. It also talks about the important role played by teachers, parents and communities in enabling developmental outcomes. This NCF is designed with the teacher as the primary focus

6. It has listed the 'panchakosha' concept which deals with five-fold development for the education of children –physical development, development of life energy, emotional and mental development, intellectual development and spiritual development.

7. Vidya Pravesh (entry-level education) has been developed by the NCERT for students of class 1. A three-month, play-based school preparation module has been proposed. These classes will be held for four hours a day over three months.

8.Balvatika Classes for students in the age groups of 3+, 4+ and 5+ years of age are being introduced in a set of 49 Kendriya Vidyalayas.

With inputs from LiveMint & NCERT