Maharashtra: Draft Curriculum Framework Recommends Special Teachers, Infrastructure For Inclusive Education

Maharashtra: Draft Curriculum Framework Recommends Special Teachers, Infrastructure For Inclusive Education

These are some of the new recommendations included in the latest draft of the State Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (SCF-FS).

Musab QaziUpdated: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 01:52 AM IST
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Maharashtra: Draft Curriculum Framework Recommends Special Teachers, Infrastructure For Inclusive Education | Representational Image

Special teachers at each of the state's kendra (cluster of 8-10 schools); necessary infrastructure and learning resources at schools for students with disabilities; and volunteers to look after the children of workers at brick kilns and sugarcane fields. These are some of the new recommendations included in the latest draft of the State Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (SCF-FS).

The new curriculum framework

The new curriculum framework, prepared by a committee of education experts, also offers teaching strategies for children who are considered hyperactive, aggressive or uninterested in learning, as it seeks to make the learning process more responsive and inclusive of the varied needs of children going through various levels of development. The draft has been submitted to the state government for its approval.

This is the second draft of SCF-FS, which has been drawn up in accordance with the National Education Policy 2020. The document will set the direction of teaching and learning across Maharashtra for the foundational stage, comprising three years of pre-school for children aged 3-6 years as well as the first and second grades for the children aged 6-8 years. This is the first time the state has come up with a comprehensive document for early childhood education, as the pre-primary section is yet to be recognised as a part of the formal schooling system.

State received over 2,000 responses in feedback

The first draft of the curriculum framework, which was largely a replica of the National Curriculum Framework for Foundation Stage (NCF-FS), was released in October last year for public feedback. The state received over 2,000 responses, following which some tweaks were made to the document. The document was further revised after a consultation following some inputs from the state education minister Deepak Kesarkar.

According to the document, there should be at least one special teacher to cater to the needs of students suffering from learning disabilities and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These teachers will be responsible to keep an eye on symptoms among young children and help them get counselling and treatment.

The latest version of SCF-FS features a section on ‘learning mindset’, which highlights the importance of factoring in the learners’ emotions and their physical and mental health. “The students labeled hyperactive or aggressive or those who don’t show interest in learning could be acting due to rage, guilt, shame or sorrow. But these emotions are never considered, let alone accepted, in the classroom,” reads the document.

The draft also emphasises the need to have a balance between the individual students’ abilities and tasks assigned to them, to make the learning process optimally challenging for them and induce ‘positive stress’ and excitement.

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