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NCERT signals shift in focus from rote learning

The learning outcomes are the basic levels of learning required to facilitate the assessment of students against expected benchmarks.

education Updated: Feb 26, 2018 22:54 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
NCERT,School,Scholl students
Class XII students coming out after appearing for their English language paper during Central Board of School Education (CBSE) examinations.(HT File Photo)

Students of Classes 9 to 12 will soon be assessed under new learning outcomes being drafted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

The council has begun working on the draft, and the guidelines are likely to be implemented soon.

The NCERT had prepared learning outcomes for each class in languages (Hindi, English, Urdu), mathematics, environmental studies, science and social science up to the elementary stage (until Class 8). These were later made part of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Now, learning outcomes for all subjects will be prepared for Classes 9-12, officials said.

The learning outcomes are the basic levels of learning required to facilitate the assessment of students against expected benchmarks.

The move is aimed at making a shift from “rote learning” and at ensuring there are “clear parameters” to judge the performance of students. Schools affiliated to the CBSE follow the NCERT’s syllabus.

An NCERT official said these learning outcomes would also imply reform in examination system to strengthen linkage between school-based assessment and external evaluation.

The council is likely to complete the exercise of drafting the new learning outcomes within six months, a senior official of the human resource development (HRD) ministry said.

The official added that once the learning outcomes have been notified, the public will be consulted for its feedback.

“Rather than concentrating on textbook-based assessment, the new learning outcomes will ensure that we focus more on finding the competency levels of students. We have started work on this,” the official said.

The council also wants to promote “21st century learning skills and higher order thinking” among students rather than promoting mastery over content.

NCERT is an autonomous organisation set up to assist and advise central and state governments on policies and programmes for qualitative improvement in education, and prepares and publishes textbooks along with supplementary materials among others.

The learning outcomes that were notified by the NCERT for Classes 1-8 focus on whether students can read the time correctly using a clock; estimate the capacity of a container in known units — for example, a bucket containing water is 20-30 times that of a mug; and measure short lengths using non-uniform units like a finger, handspan, length of forearm and footsteps among others.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 22:53 IST