Speaking to TOI’s Manash Gohain, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the new textbooks for classes III to VI, classes IX and XI will be ready for the 2024-25 academic session and the remaining in 2025-26.
Excerpts from the interview:
Parents and schools are confused about when the twice-a-year board exam is going to be rolled out.
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for schools, based on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 recommendations was notified and as per its recommendations the new school syllabus is being designed. NEP made recommendations for assessments and exams, which has been dealt with in a detailed manner in the NCF. Now we have reached the implementation phase.
Currently board exams are being conducted at the end of class X and XII, annually. Reforming that, now each of these exams will be offered twice, which however is optional for students. Based on preparation, a student can take the exam once or twice and the best score will be taken. This will ease the pressure on children from the stress of one exam.
This twice-a-year board format will be rolled out from the 2024-25 academic year. Which means this will be adopted from the 2025 board exams for class X and XII, which is around one and half year from now. This will be effective from the present class IX and XI students.
NEP also spoke about semester-mode from class IX onwards…
Gradually exams from classes IX onwards will be semester based. Currently the students are assessed once based on two years of study (class IX-X, and class XI-XII). These four years will be converted to eight semesterbased exams. Whatever a student studied in two semesters of class IX will be summed up in two exams. Similarly, for subsequent classes as well this will be followed.
This, however will be implemented in the second phase of exam reforms. Right now our priority is to design the new syllabus and prepare the textbooks for classes IX to XII.
What’s new in the NCF?
There are certain fundamental changes in the new NCF, such as “skill” being offered as a regular course. The strength of our new NCF is that it is scientific, need and skill-based education. It envisages an education system keeping in mind the changing scenarios and rooted (in Indian values). The primary goal of the NCF is to prepare Indian students as global citizens.
For all these the new textbooks should be available …
Schooling period now is 15 years. Bal vatika 1, 2, 3 comprise the foundational cohort, which has been formalised for the first time. The teaching-learning materials for these classes as well as for classes I and II are already notified.
Based on the new NCF for school education notified in August this year, in 2024 the new textbooks for classes III to VI and classes IX and XI will be ready. Which means all the books will be available for the preparatory classes and the entry level (class VI) of middle school (class VI). Similarly, the textbooks for entry level of secondary (class IX) and senior secondary (class XI) will also be available for the 2024-25 academic session. So next year books will be ready for six classes. Rest (classes VII, VIII, X and XII) of the books will be ready by 2025. This will ensure continuity and starting from 2024-25, in the academic year 2025-26 the new approach for school education will be completed.
When will the three-language formula for secondary education be implemented?
The three-language formula is a major paradigm shift for school education. So far language has been treated a s a subject. Now the focus is on mother tongue/ native languages a s a medium of instruction. It also offers the option of learning multiple languages. Based on NCF’s recommendations from class VI to X a student will study three languages of which two will be Indian languages and in classes XI and XII it will be two languages of which one will be an Indian language. This will also be implemented simultaneously from the new academic calendar.

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