New Delhi: To ensure seamless integration of school, tertiary and vocational education, the government will soon introduce a National Credit Framework (NCrF), officials familiar with the development have said.
While a credit-based framework is already in place in technical and higher education, this will be the first time that school and vocational education will be included.
A high-level committee set up last year to develop the framework has finalized its draft report, according to education ministry officials.
“The idea is to bring the entire education system, including school education, higher education and vocational education, to a unified credit platform,” said a ministry official, under covered with anonymity. “This means that credits will be awarded directly from the school to doctoral levels and will be deposited on a single platform.”
The University Grants Commission, India’s higher education regulator, launched an Academic Credit Bank (ABC) for higher education last year. The ABC functions as a digital repository of credits earned by students. So far, it is limited to higher education.
Under the proposed framework, the ABC will be extended and linked to DigiLocker, the online scanning service provided by the Ministry of Electronics and Computing. Currently, DigiLocker can be used to store student academic records by the Central Board of Secondary Education and other state boards of education, in addition to a host of other government records.
“The ABC will manage credits obtained at all levels, including school education, higher education, technical education, vocational education and training,” said another ministry official, also under cover. of anonymity.
The committee has agreed that credits will be awarded on the basis of learning hours from class V to doctoral studies. So far, it is being considered to set the total number of learning hours per credit at 30. However, the panel has not yet finalized the number of credits that will be granted at each level.
“Learning hours under the NCrF will also include sports, arts, music, vocational training, skills, field trips, project work, on-the-job training, internship , learning or learning through experience,” the first official said. “Credit will be given subject to review.”
A unified credit system that includes schools will ensure students’ efforts are recognized at every stage of education at all levels of academic and professional learning, said educator Meeta Sengupta.
“It not only bridges different types of learning and between institutions, but also supports students who are unable to maintain full continuity in their studies due to various pressures,” Sengupta said. “The choice to change and return is a strong support mechanism for improving success rates.”
The NCrF will be launched as part of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which advocates that there should be “no hard separation” between vocational and academic tracks. The policy also states that at least 50% of learners in the school system and higher education must be exposed to vocational education until 2025.
In addition, credits will be awarded to students for online programs to expand open and distance learning options. The regulator has already allowed students to earn 40% of their required credits through online courses.
“The draft of NCrf will soon be released to the public domain to solicit stakeholder feedback,” the second official said.