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Prof. Pratyusha Kumar Mandal, Secretary, NCERT, MoE, Govt. of India, Shares Insights on Transformative steps taken by NCERT

“Textbooks developed by NCERT are available online, and the digital versions are enriched with additional information as learning aids,” says Prof. Pratyusha Kumar Mandal, Secretary, NCERT, MoE, Govt. of India, in an interview with Chandan Anand, CEO & Group Editor, ArdorComm Media Group at the ‘New Normal – Education Leadership Summit & Awards 2023’ #ELSANewDelhi #ELSAGurugram

What has been your takeaway, and experience at today’s event?

I must say that this is a wonderful effort by you to bring so many people who are holding leadership positions in their respective schools and other organizations on one common platform to share their experiences. It’s only after sharing such experiences that we can find the way to implement the National Education Policy 2020.

In today’s e-learning and digital era, there are a lot of changes happening in the publication sector. In what ways is NCERT working to make reading habits more interesting and engaging for kids?

This is inevitable because the two worlds are now merging with each other—the traditional way of learning from textbooks and the new way of learning from digital platforms. NCERT is actively engaged in the work of bringing the two together. Textbooks developed by NCERT are available online, and the digital versions are enriched with additional information as learning aids. You can find a scan code in every textbook that provides access to additional material on the NROER platform. The two worlds are joining together seamlessly.

When it comes to selecting educational publications, schools often have choices. What criteria should schools keep in mind when selecting publications?

It’s essential to see whether the textbook you’ve chosen fulfils the expectations laid down in the learning outcomes of the curriculum. If the textbook meets those standards, you are free to choose it. NCERT makes every endeavour to develop curricular material that meets the expectations of the curriculum in terms of learning outcomes. If another publication meets these demands, you can choose it without any problem.

Parents often consider the thickness or weight of a book when selecting textbooks for their children. How has NCERT addressed this concern?

The thickness of a book depends on the number of case studies or examples needed to understand a particular concept thoroughly. India is a vast country, and textbooks need to reach every child. Therefore, case studies must come from areas where children reside, so they can connect with the textbook. The focus should not be on the number of pages but on whether the core concepts are well explained. The intention is not to overwhelm students with a proliferation of concepts but to focus on core concepts to ensure their learning progression.

We are celebrating the third year of the National Education Policy’s announcement under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. How are you looking forward to this event?

Many such events are required because the message of the National Education Policy needs to reach the last person in the country and beyond, considering India’s large diaspora. The policy has been designed to address the needs and aspirations of people living in India and abroad. NCERT has been relentlessly pioneering this effort. The National Curriculum Framework for the Foundational Stage has already been released, along with the required curricular materials. Foundational stage education has been institutionally recognized and empowered with the necessary curricular material for teachers and young learners.

Any message you’d like to give to ArdorComm Media on its 2nd anniversary?

It was quite a surprise for me. It was such a beautiful convention, and I wish all the best to you and your team. I look forward to many more such conventions in the future.

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