✍ D. Ramakrishna rao
Vidya Bharati with its 6 years toil collected inputs from across fifty thousand plus villages and more than one thousand seminars and symposia conducted in almost all the districts. We submitted more than four thousand pages of material and concept-note papers especially regarding school complexes, special education zones, community-school bondage, social orientation of the school and service to the society along with man making initiatives and quality education. We are happy that many of our recommendations could make it to NEP-2020, which was brought into public domain on 29th July 2020. Many of the path breaking recommendations with Bharat centric approach were well appreciated and welcomed by Vidya Bharati.
During first year of NEP-2020
Vidya Bharati decided to take NEP-2020, to the common people, academia, intelligentsia, educational managers and other stake holders in a big way, because involvement of all these groups is essential for implementation. In-spite of Covid pandemic, we tried to reach as many as possible by virtual meetings in a big way.
- Bharatiya Siksha Darshan and Manovigyan: Bharat centric approach was not known to the academia or Bureaucrats, even though there was a mention of it. Hence Vidya Bharati did supply 8 articles on Bharatiya Siksha Darshan (Philosophical foundations) and Mano Vigyana (Psychological foundations) to the ministry of education, NCERT and SCERTs.
- Our training system re-oriented: Our thrust and focus was on implementation of NEP. Hence in order to equip all our stake holders with NEP details and to empower them, Vidya Bharati training system was revamped and reoriented. 1500 master trainers were upskilled and updated to undertake further training of our teachers across the country.
- Focus area groups: As per the directives of NCERT, our resource persons were in all 25 groups for preparing state and national curriculum framework and played an active role in providing needed inputs.
- Vidya Pravesh: Our workedout templates for ECCE were submitted with minute details to the ministry. Vidya pravesh – three-month play-based preparation module for children entering grade-I was developed with our team effort as a part of NIPUN Bharat mission.
- Rapport with government and other organizations: Meeting the education machinery of the government every month to provide inputs both at the central and state level was going on. We were asked to be on the panel of Confederation of India Industry (CII), National Academy of Audit and Accounts (NAAA) and different organizations to detail NEP and unfold these suggestions.
Achievements during 2nd year of NEP-2020
Post-corona period has witnessed a high speed and accelerated activity regarding implementation of NEP-2020
- Inputs to curriculum framework: Following bottom-up approach Vidya Bharati gathered in a big way inputs from different stake holders including teachers, parents, students, neo and non-literates, experts, scholars, NGOs etc. both by virtual and face-to-face method. Out of 16 lakh inputs received ours would be at least 1.5 lakhs. Our teachers have supported DIETs in their survey as well.
- Our presentation before the steering committee: 8 Vidya Bharati academicians met on 21st Feb 2022, the steering committee with 5 PPT presentations which included 4 stage-wise and one general, providing inputs along with best practices to be included which was received very well. At the end comment of Padma Vibhushan Dr. Kasturi Rangan was that the steering committee has ideas, which were already implemented in Vidya Bharati schools. He was emotionally attached to Vidya Bharati and have been maintaining contact thereafter.
- Technical team of NCF visited our schools: 4 members viz. Sri Jitendra Sharma, Sri Sobhan Negi, Sri Rakesh Tiwari and Sri Gajanan Londhe visited Vidya Bharati schools in Gujarat, Uttara Pradesh and Punjab between 7th and 14th April 2022. Best practices and processes were observed and recorded to submit a 20-page report to the steering committee during May with a caption – “Inputs from Vidya Bharati schools for National Curriculum Framework”. All important points in this report could find a place in NCF.
- NCFECCE – foundation stage with Vidya Bharati inputs: NCF foundation stage was released on 20th October 2022, with all our guiding principles and practices. Our concepts of Sarvangeena Vikasa (All-round development), Samagra Vikasa (Holistic Development) and Panchakoshatmak Vikas (Five-fold personality development) could find an important place in this framework.
- Virtual workshop for text-book writers: Vidya Bharati in-order to be preparing in advance conducted online workshops for textbook writers and content generators during January and February 2022, in 9 subjects in which more than 950 participated and got trained.
- 14 face to face workshops for teachers: We conducted 14 workshops on 14 subjects to more than 1200 subject experts, editors, content generators and subject teachers between April and July 2022. The highlight of all these workshops was that higher educational institutions of reputation voluntarily hosted with a very good set of resource persons.
- JADUII PITARA (Magic Box) launched: Jaduii Pitara was launched by the ministry on 20th February, 2023, a learning–teaching material for foundation stage. This was the inspiration from Sisuvatika of Vidya Bharati, a bag-less activity driven and spiritually rooted education by play and toy-based learning, which was well received.
Progress report of 3rd year
During the year under report, we had to rush through with more initiatives as the time was very much short and the whole process is to be completed by March 2024.
- Text books for standard I and II: Based on the syllabus designed by us, our team with the help of NCERT and technical group prepared text books for classes I and II and were released on 4th July 2023.
- Anganwadi workers training: Vidya Bharati was given the responsibility of training, Balavatika I, II & III standards on the lines of Shishuvatika to Anganwadi workers in some states, for which separate books were printed by respective state governments with our inputs.
- Subject-wise approach before NCF committee: At their request our team of 6 went with subject-wise approaches, with a special mention of history, in the draft document of National Curriculum Framework of secondary education.
- Chapter-wise suggestions and corrections: During the same meeting in May at Bangalore, we have submitted chapter wise corrections and suggestions for the draft NCFSE-2023. A total 6 documents consisting of observations, missing pedagogical methodologies, and how it can be more Bharat-centric. Resultant effect was that the team appreciated the contributions of Vidya Bharati right from the beginning. They heaped praises for our recommendations being logical, objective, productive and purposeful and are in contact with us.
- NCFSE-23 is ready with our inputs: In continuation of the specialties of NCFECCE, the national curriculum frame work for secondary education has suggested some of our best practices. Pancha koshatmak vikas was explained in detail, along with value education, rootedness to India, school culture, school processes and different traditional PPRAMAANAS (Pratyaksha, Anumana, Upamana, Arthapatti, Anupalabdhi, Shabda) as sources of knowledge. School a centre of social change, school assembly practices were also mentioned as per our thought and practice.
- With lot of struggle and continuous rapport we could reach this position of inserting most of our suggestions and recommendations in NEP-2020 and NCF-2023 documents. Now it is for us to follow the next level of framing the syllabus and writing textbooks which needs a very close monitoring because the text book is the guiding book for the teacher and learning material for students. Hence, we wish that high powered committees are to be constituted for the National Syllabus and Learning Teaching Material Committee (NSTC) and National Curriculum framework Oversight committee (NOC) which is an absolute necessity for continuing the work hitherto done.
- Curricular area sub-groups for text book preparation have to be taken up by NCERT immediately for which our role is to be defined and clarified before we move further in this regard.
- We are ready with a list of subject experts, content generators and editors for text book writing. Syllabus gets ready by 30th September 2023 and text book writing starts from October, for which we are prepared.
(Author is Retired Principal and National President of Vidya Bharati.)