Recently, the Union Ministry of Education (MoE) unveiled the draft National Credit Framework. Students will soon be able to earn credits for both classroom learning and extracurricular activities through a unified credit system, which will be deposited in a credit bank – a system that is already in place at the higher academic level.

 

About the ‘National Credit Framework’

  • Based on the inter-ministerial committee (led by Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi, chairperson of National Council for Vocational Education and Training) report, the MoE recently unveiled the draft NCrF and started a national level public consultation on it.
  • NCrF aims to bring all school students under a unified credit system.
      • Aside from class tests, activities such as festival celebrations and school cleaning will earn credits that will be stored in the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC), just like in higher education.
      • There will be no hard and fast distinction between curricular and extracurricular or co-curricular activities, or between vocational and academic tracks.
      • The framework’s goal is to develop a unified credit accumulation and transfer system for general and vocational education from school to higher education.
  • Aadhaar will be used for student registration, and each candidate will be assigned an academic bank account number, where degrees and credits will be accumulated.
  • At the school level, the draft National Credit Framework proposes that the credit regime be divided into five levels —
    • From pre-school to class II;
    • Classes III to V;
    • Classes VI to VIII,
    • Classes IX to X; and,
    • Classes XI and XII. A student who clears class XII will be at credit level 4 (up to 8 for those who obtain doctorate degrees).
  • Under the draft framework, the credit points will be carried over to the graduation level, and further.
  • A student will have to earn at least 40 credits (annual “notional learning” duration to earn at least 40 credits has been fixed at 1,200 hours – time spent in classrooms + a range of extracurricular activities and sports) for completing each year of school, besides clearing the exams.

 

Proposed benefits of NCrF for various stakeholders

  • Students —
      • Establishing multidisciplinary and holistic education with flexible curricula.
      • Removing the distinction between arts, science, social sciences, commerce, etc.
      • Giving student credits for every academic/skill/experience.
      • Enhancing the scope of core learning to include foundational and cognitive both.
  • Institutions —
      • Promoting stronger collaboration between institutions.
      • Making credit mechanisms simpler and uniform.
      • Increasing focus on research and innovation.
      • Leveraging the institutional infrastructure.
  • Government —
      • NCrF is expected to assist the government to increase the enrolment of students.
      • Complementing the demographic dividend and transforming India into the Skill Capital of the World.
  • Industry —
      • NCrF will allow students to attain NSQF-approved foundational skills developed by industry and be more employable.
      • The provision of micro-credentials will allow integration of quick educational upgradation/up-skilling.

 

Significance

  • So far, the credit system has been out of reach for the general public.
      • Now, someone who works in the farms and has studied up to class VI will now be credited for his/her experience.
      • S/he will be able to take Class X through NIOS after earning credits for four years.
  • Taking the vision of the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, NCrF will enable the integration of academic and vocational domains to ensure flexibility and mobility between the two. Thus, mainstreaming skilling and vocational education.
  • NCrF will also enable students who have dropped out of mainstream education to re-enter the education ecosystem.
  • It will also promote Recognition of Prior Learning for workers who have acquired knowledge and skills informally through traditional family inheritance, work experience, or other means.