The Value of Policy-Level Changes in India’s Arts Education Landscape

The Value of Policy-Level Changes in India’s Arts Education Landscape

Let’s take the specific arts education points from  ncf? 100 hours upto grade 10, music dance theatre visual art

If we want to create sustainable changes in India’s education system and ensure that we integrate the arts meaningfully into the curriculum, we first need to make systemic changes. 

Our co-founders were involved in drafting the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which was put in place to ensure that we are training children to meet the demands of a future workplace. The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) enables schools to implement the NEP with actionable steps and learning standards. 

SaPa, which works with a vision to make music and arts education widely accessible to every child, is celebrating its tenth year in schools in 2024. Here are some takeaways from the NCF, and what they mean for the future of arts education in the Indian school system: 

1 – Arts education should be given their fair share of time in the classroom, with 100 annual hours and 150 annual periods up to grade 10. 

2 – Arts education should include music, dance, theatre, and visual arts, and should be provided in a standardised and structured manner with clear learning outcomes, materials and teaching methods. It should empower all educators to deliver a certain standard of learning. 

3 – In younger children (ages 3-6 years old), the morning routine should include 15 minutes of music, rhythm, and movement. Since children primarily learn through play, music and movement should be incorporated into their day: singing, playing simple instruments, exploring percussion instruments from around the world, etc. 

4 – In the secondary classes, class discussions, projects, and activities could encourage students to compare different styles of music from around India, so that they can appreciate what they have in common while also celebrating the variations across regions. 

5 – There is a need to build a supportive learning ecosystem that helps us achieve these learning outcomes for all children. That means curriculum development, administrative processes, learning material, educator training, and lesson plans. 

6 – We don’t know what the workplace will look like decades from today. We don’t know what jobs will be automated and what hard skills students should build. But we do know that there will always be a need for empathetic, sensitive, and communicative leaders. Music and the arts go a long way in developing these qualities. 

7 – Every child should engage with the arts, regardless of abilities and inclination towards taking it up as a career. Creative education fuels the brain to think critically and independently – a skill every child needs to build. 

8 – Arts educators should create a space for children to ask questions, explore different perspectives, and enjoy the journey. 

9 – Music should be integrated with subjects like mathematics. Music is filled with patterns; it can be used to explain permutations and combinations, and simple fractions. Children can also understand concepts of physics (like frequencies and the sounds produced by different musical instruments) through music. 

10 – The NCF is designed on the principle that no student should be deprived of quality education because of their geographical location. It offers online micro courses on building skills like playing an instrument. 

While we as parents and educators must do what it takes as individuals to create lasting change, policy-level changes have the power to impact the country for generations to come. The NCF has integrated the arts designed thoughtfully, with the goal of nurturing future leaders. We look forward to its implementation in the coming years.

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