NEW DELHI—Raising concern over neglect of minorities’ cultural values, ethos, and history in the draft national curricular framework (NCF) 2023,Delhi-based Markazi Taleemi Board (MTB) has submitted about two dozen recommendations to Dr. K Kasturirangan, chairman of the National Steering Committee on NCF-2023 for School Education.

NCF 2023 is a detailed plan about what must be taught to students at different levels in various curricular areas.

The recommendations include about the neglect of minorities’ traditions, lack of inclusive pedagogy, less GDP on education, pupil-teacher ratio, non-inclusivity of culture, sidelining of medieval history and other related issues.

The recommendations and suggestions have been submitted through a letter sent by MTB Director and educationist Syed Tanveer Ahmed.

While congratulating the Ministry of Education, the Government of India, and the National Steering Committee on National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for covering various aspects of school education in NCF, Mr. Tanveer, however, pointed out the curriculum framework should be designed to ensure holistic development of students, promote inclusive education, instill democratic values, ensure social justice and equitable progress, and contribute to the nation’s development.

Indian ethos and values be based on India’s pluralistic culture

Referring to Indian ethos and values incorporated in draft NCF, the MTB letter has pointed out that perception of Indian values and ethos vary among different groups of people.

In this context, Mr Tanveer says that when the draft mentions Indian ethos and values, it appears to primarily represent the values of the majority.

He says that these values are often drawn from Sanskrit texts, suggesting that the sources of Indian ethos are solely derived from the Vedas and Puranas, with a belief in their superior knowledge.

He suggested that the committee needed to provide a clear definition of Indian ethos and clarify and elaborate on whether it encompassed all socio-religious and cultural traditions existing in our country. He emphasized, “We believe that Indian ethos and values lie in diversity and pluralism.”

Neglect of Other Traditions

The letter points out that the draft NCF includes “Pramanas”(sources of knowledge) from a single religious tradition, neglecting other epistemological traditions of Buddhism, Islam, Jainism, Christianity, Sikhism, and other religious, cultural, and civilizational traditions.

The letter suggested to acknowledge the contributions of diverse traditions in developing Indian ethos and values to make NCF more inclusive.

Participatory Management

The MTB letter suggests to incorporate participatory management within schools into NCF to ensure active involvement of and decision-making by all stakeholders.

It states that community engagement should be integrated in NCF to establish a strong link between schools and society.

Inclusive Pedagogy

Another aspect missing in the draft NCF, according to the letter, is lack of emphasis on improving language abilities as part of inclusive pedagogy.

“Enhancing language skills can greatly contribute to ensuring equitable education for all students,” says the letter.

GDP on Education & Pupil-Teacher ratio

Mr. Tanveer advocated six per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to be allocated for education budget to meet the promises made in National Education Policy(NEP)-2020.

MTB also proposed that the Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) at the foundational stage should be maintained at 20:1 to ensure a conducive learning environment for young learners.


Referring to the chapter titled ‘Rootedness in India,‘ the letter points out that the NCF document consistently highlights a particular tradition and culture, giving it supremacy.

The letter suggests that it is important to acknowledge that India is composed of diverse cultures and traditions.

The letter also tells that the document should actively discuss and promote the inclusion of various Indian cultural traditions and anthropological cultures.

The letter further suggests, “It is also vital to ensure that, in the name of culture, concepts presented as science are supported by strong evidence on a solid basis.”

Language Teaching Training

Raising concerns over three-language formula, the letter says that the draft NCF does not address the requirement for teachers to be trained in the proposed method of language teaching and learning.

“Given the current circumstances, implementing the strategies presented in the document may pose a challenge for the government. Proper training is necessary to effectively implement this document,” says the letter.

Educational Investment

Recommending to increase educational investment to secure the necessary resources, the MTB suggested to fill teacher vacancies in all government educational institutions, ranging from schools to universities.

In-service Training

Suggesting allocation of adequate funds for in-service teacher training, the MTB demanded to discontinue the practice of employing para-teachers, Shiksha Mitra, Shikshan Sevak, and part-time or contractual teachers in educational institutions.

Value Education

While NCF has focused on value education, MTB says that the documents also need to present a roadmap on how to internalize those values with a view to influencing behavior and thoughts of students based on those values.

MTB, in its letter, has provided details of a working model on the internalization of values.

Physical Education

MTB demanded not to promote the enforcement of Yoga because of unavailability of sports materials, equipment, and physical education teachers or playgrounds.

Pointing out that the NCF document attempts “to sideline medieval history and excessively promotes ancient history,” Mr. Tanveer insisted that the NCF document should be a true representative of all periods of history.

Environmental education

Stating that the NCF 2023 lacks specific guidelines on how environmental education be implemented in schools, Mr Tanveer says that environment subject in schools was taught by science teachers while it required a specialized environmental studies teacher to teach the subject. He suggested that specialized and qualified teachers should be appointed for interdisciplinary subjects.

He also suggested collaboration between schools, local communities, and environmental organizations to enhance environmental education and enable students to take real-world environmental action.

Counselling & role of parents not discussed in NCF

The letter has drawn attention towards role of external counselors  and parents in children’s education.

Stating that instead of solely relying on teachers and principals, external professionals such as career counselors, psychological counselors, psychiatrists, and health workers should also be involved.

Pointing out that the role of parents in student guidance and counselling is not discussed in the NCF document,  Mr. Tanveer says, “Parents can play a vital role in understanding their children’s needs better than anyone else. Therefore, proper training of parents is mandatory in this regard. We propose parenting classes in this NCF.”

Individualized Plan

The MTB letter talks about creating an individualized plan for every student in the country as it is ‘a complex task that requires careful planning’.

The letter suggests that the teachers can act as facilitators, but counselors should intervene if a child is experiencing a mismatch in the school environment.

The letter recommends that full-time counselors should be appointed in schools to handle this significant responsibility. It also recommends that an increased budget allocation should be directed towards obtaining professional counseling services, considering the large number of students in schools.