Shaping the future of Indian classrooms 

22 September 2023
5 min read
Managing Director – Oxford University Press India

Sumanta Datta

“With a remarkable presence of more than 111 years in India, we take pride in recognizing our role not just as witnesses but as active contributors to the evolution of the Indian classroom.” 

Curriculum at the core of India’s path to becoming a global knowledge superpower 

Today, we are at a pivotal juncture to play an important role in shaping the future of the Indian education system, the main objective of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) 2022, and the recently released National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE) 2023.  

The NEP is aimed at preparing India for the challenges of the 21st century – it provides comprehensive guidance for the development of education in the country, and it aims to produce engaged, productive, and contributing citizens.  

The NCF, however, is the key to real transformation: It’s the first integrated curriculum framework for children aged 3-18 in India, and its interdisciplinarity encourages students to explore the relationships between individuals, society, and the environment.  

The NCF promotes multilingualism, conceptual understanding in Mathematics, and capacities for scientific inquiry. Most importantly, it recognizes that the teacher is “the torchbearer for these changes”, to ensure that each child is supported on their journey towards “learning how to learn”. These reforms seek to empower both educators and students to thrive in an equitable and vibrant knowledge society. 

To grasp the significance of these initiatives, consider the immense scale of the Indian education system: over 1.5 million schools, 9.7 million educators, and a staggering 260 million children. 

The task at hand is to lay the foundation for this visionary shift. 

Preparing for Foundational Stage and beyond 

As a leader in K-8 education, we introduced Oxford Inspire, India’s first competency-based blended learning solution, to shift from rote learning (method reliant on memorization), to deeper conceptual understanding. Earlier this year, we built upon this success by revising our foundational learning products for ages 3-8, in all our formats, and aligning them with the NCF-FS 2022.

At the moment, we are working hard to ensure our key courses across gateway subjects like English, Mathematics and Science, align with the curricular aims outlined in the NCF-SE 2023. These revised courses will be available for the upcoming academic session, along with new courses on wellness and computer science, to enable a seamless transition to the new curricula. However, we’ll continue offering textbooks in line with the existing curriculum, to give teachers time to adjust to the new changes. 

Working in step with our community to equip and empower teachers 

We are thrilled to unveil a series of initiatives for our teachers, the true agents of change: 

  • A Facebook group to help foster meaningful conversations within our teacher community. 
  • A new Professional Development Hub to make sure learning is in the pipeline anytime, anywhere.  
  • A unique set of teachers’ handbooks – currently in development – to accompany our courses, to support the application of innovative teaching methods and in nurturing the next generation of learners.  
  • A Capacity Building Program for foundation teachers, created in collaboration with one of the education boards, to equip them with the skills and understanding required for curriculum design and experiential teaching practices rooted in the Indian ethos.  

With our reach extending to over 12 million students and 150,000 teachers, and standing on the brink of change, the introduction of the NCF has only deepened our commitment to broaden our influence and have a more profound impact.