The Curricula for ICT in Education

1. Overview

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become, within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Many countries now regard understanding of ICT and mastering the basic skills as part of the core of education, alongside reading, writing and numeracy. The recent efforts of the Government of India (GOI) seek to deepen the use of ICT in almost every sphere of life. The Digital India Campaign (2015) strives to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy by focusing on the three vision areas: Digital Infrastructure as Core Utility to Every Citizen, e-Governance and Services on Demand and Digital literacy and empowerment of citizens. The three cardinal principle of the draft New National Education Policy (2016) viz., access, equity and quality could be served well by harnessing the huge potential of ICT.

The present curricula for ICT in education is a step towards realizing the goals of both the National Policy, the National Curriculum Framework (2005) and the recommendations of Digital India Campaign. It has factored in the rapid evolution of technologies and the ground realities of Indian school systems. For the teacher, it is an initiation into exploring educational possibilities of technology, learning to make the right choices of hardware, software and ICT interactions, and more importantly, growing to become a critical user of ICT. For the student, it is an initiation into creativity, problem solving, and an introduction to the world of information and technologies which could also shape career pursuits.

ICT distinguish themselves from other technologies by their rapid evolution, defeating attempts to define a curriculum which can serve the schools for a while. Keeping up with the changes require constant upgradation and at times, unavoidable replacements, which makes it an expensive proposition. Given the dynamic nature of the field, the curricula, emphasising the core educational purposes, are generic by design and focus on a broad exposure to technologies aimed at enhancing the creativity and imagination of the learners. Recognising that teachers as a group represent varying levels of exposure to ICT, the curriculum for teachers attempts to fast track them into becoming proficient users of ICT by defining milestones and an evaluation system that allows for

teachers to assess their readiness and decide their pace through the course.

Based on the size of the school, the infrastructure available and other related issues like availability of electricity, students may have varying access to the ICT facilities and resources. The student’s curriculum, therefore, is designed as a three year course spanning 90 weeks with three sessions per week. Schools may opt to begin the curricular programme as early as sixth grade (beginning of the upper primary stage), in any case completing the programme before the student leaves school. The ICT curriculum is a common programme for all students in school. As such it is distinct from any optional subject at the plus two stage and distinct from any vocational education programme under the NSQF..

The curricula are built around a set of guiding principles, enabling any school system to provide the right exposure to emerging technologies to build capabilities in teachers and students, not only to use technology comfortably, but also employ them judiciously to enhance their learning. The requirements of the curricula are not to be hardware or software specific. Undoing the general trend of limiting software to office applications, which are not only ill suited for educational purposes but also tend to narrow down the view of what computers and ICT can achieve, a wide range of software applications specifically designed for education are introduced. Use of proprietary software would become very expensive and make the implementation unviable. Therefore, Free and Open Source software have been suggested throughout the curricula. The use of FOSS applications will also obviate software piracy and enable customisation to suit local needs.

The curricula underscore the need for internet connectivity of adequate band- width, particularly for teachers as access to the internet is no more a matter of choice. The educational potential of internet resources and interactions are immense. It also serves the essential purpose of connecting teachers and schools to each other and contributing to bridging of divides.

Responding to the National Curriculum Framework’s observation that treating e-content as yet another teaching aid trivialises the potential of this medium and has detrimental effects on teaching-learning practices and the role of the teacher, the teachers’ curriculum emphasises the involvement of teachers in the creation of e-content, its sharing with peers and its critical evaluation. Taking cognizance of parallel efforts like the National Repository of Open Education Resources, the curriculum encourages the participation of teachers in its collaborative platform to share such evaluated creations.

2. Guiding Principles

  • The curricula shall be generic, drawing upon the features of a wide range of technological applications and focussing on educational purposes.

  • The focus of the curricula shall be on learning to compute, which includes learning to create using a variety of hardware and software ools. ICT literacy, defined as the knowledge and ability to wield tools and devices, shall be an incidental outcome of this learning.

  • The curricula shall provide adequate opportunity for hands on learning and open ended exploration of ICT applications. Sharing of learning and critical evaluation of the learning shall be integral to the strategy.

  • A healthy ICT environment requires heightened awareness of the social, ethical and legal aspects of its use. Software piracy and plagiarism shall be explicitly denounced and discouraged. Creation of original content, taking pride in the creation and duly recognising others’ contributions shall be promoted. Safe and secure use of ICT shall also be promoted.

  • The curricula shall promote the full utilisation of infrastructure and resources, integrating it with the school’s programme. Universal access and fostering of a sense of ownership shall be encouraged to ensure maximum impact. Innovative ways of reaching the unreached shall be promoted.

3. The Learning strands

The learning strands seek to build capacities to handling today’s and tomorrow’s technologies appropriate for use in education, capitalizing on technology to master technology, managing the ICT infrastructure, using technology to surmount barriers and to acquiring insights to lead technology educationally. The six strands are:


Last modified: Monday, 8 October 2018, 3:23 PM