Theme : Governance
Paper : GS-2
In a bid to integrate academic and vocational or skill-based education, the Union Education Minister recently unveiled the draft report on the National Credits Framework (NCrF) and invited nationwide public consultations and suggestions on the proposed educational credits system.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- About NCrF
- Proposed Credit Regime under NCrF
- Need for NCrF
- About the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC)
- Road Ahead
Context : In a bid to integrate academic and vocational or skill-based education, the Union Education Minister recently unveiled the draft report on the National Credits Framework (NCrF) and invited nationwide public consultations and suggestions on the proposed educational credits system.
About NCrF :
- National Credit Framework is a next generation, multidimensional instrument under National Education Policy (NEP).
- Aim: To formulate a unified credit accumulation and transfer for general and vocational studies, and from school to higher education.
- Formulated under: UGC (Establishment and Operation of Academic Bank Of Credits in Higher Education) Regulations, notified in July 2021.
- Credits for School Students: While the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) follows a credit system, currently there is no established credit mechanism for regular school education in the country.
- Integration of All Frameworks: Besides, frameworks for higher education and skill education are currently not integrated, and the proposal is to integrate all frameworks, including the one at school level, under one umbrella.
- NCrF will seamlessly integrate the credits earned through school education, higher education and vocational and skill education by encompassing the National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF), National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) and National School Education Qualification Framework (NSEQF).
- Aadhaar-enabled Student Registration: There are plans to conduct an “Aadhaar-enabled student registration” drive where student registration will take place.
- Academic Bank of Credits (ABC): After student registration, an Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) account will be opened, where credits can be deposited. The deposit of degree and credits will take place in those accounts.
- Knowledge Locker: There will be a knowledge locker along the lines of Digilocker.
Proposed Credit Regime under NCrF :
At the school level: The draft NCrF 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.
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 for completing each year of school, besides clearing the exams.
The annual “notional learning” duration to earn at least 40 credits has been fixed at 1,200 hours — these will be not just time spent in classrooms but also a range of extracurricular activities and sports.
It may include yoga, other physical activities, performing arts, music, social work, NCC, vocational education, as well as on-the-job training, internships or apprenticeships, among others.
At the higher education level:
The credit levels will range between 4.5 and 6 at four-year courses at undergraduate level, followed by the post-graduation level (between level 6 and 7).
The framework has provisions of credit levels going up to 8 for those who obtain doctorate degrees.
Need for NCrF :
- To open numerous options for further progression of students.
- To ensure inter-mingling of school and higher education with vocational education and experiential learning.
- To prepare the educational system for gradual implementation of National Education Policy provisions such as the four-year undergraduate programmes, which comes with features such as multiple entry and exit.
- To enable students who have dropped out of mainstream education to re-enter the education ecosystem.
About the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) :
- All the credits earned by a learner through all the forms, streams, and levels of learning would be stored in the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC), which was introduced earlier this year just for higher education purposes. The ABC would be a digital repository of all credits earned by a student. When introduced for higher education recently, the ABC was envisioned to enable the transfer of credits across higher education institutions.
- For instance, if a student pursuing a degree in one college wanted to pursue another elective or course simultaneously in another college, their credits would be universal.
- The credits stored in the ABC would also be useful to a learner who wants to exit the education ecosystem mid-course or degree and use the stored credits to re-enter later.
- The multiplication of credits earned with the NCrF credit level will provide the value of credit points a learner has, which can then be redeemed from the ABC while starting a course at any academic or vocational institute.
Road Ahead :
- The NCrF is a step forward in the NEP 2020 aims of transforming India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary
- Credits for knowledge acquisition, hands-on training, and positive social outcomes will be a key step for achieving 100% literacy in the next 2-3 years.
1. What is NCrF?
Answer : National Credit Framework is a next generation, multidimensional instrument under National Education Policy (NEP).It aims to formulate a unified credit accumulation and transfer for general and vocational studies, and from school to higher education.
2. What is ABC ?
Answer : The Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) would be a digital repository of all credits earned by a student. When introduced for higher education recently, the ABC was envisioned to enable the transfer of credits across higher education institutions.