The draft framework looks beyond the classroom to allow students to also earn credit for professional studies

Students in schools will soon be able to earn credits from classroom learning and extracurricular activities, which will be deposited into a credit bank, a system that is already in place at the higher academic level, as the Center introduced Wednesday the draft of the National Credit Framework.

The framework aims to formulate a unified accumulation and transfer of credits for general and professional studies, and from school to higher education.

Furthermore, the higher education and skills frameworks are currently not integrated, and the proposal is to integrate all frameworks, including the school framework, under one umbrella.

At the launch of the draft framework and a public consultation on it, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also announced plans to carry out an ‘Aadhaar-enabled Student Enrollment’ campaign, which will be followed by the opening of accounts at the Academic Credit Bank (ABC). where credits can be deposited.

He said, “Aadhaar enabled registration of students will be done. After the registration of the student, an ABC account will be opened. In these accounts, the deposit of degrees and credits will be done. There will be a knowledge cabinet similar to DigiLocker.

Pradhan said the framework has been developed to enable the integration of academic and professional domains to ensure flexibility and mobility between the two. This, he said, “would be a game-changer by opening up numerous options for student progression and blending school and higher education with vocational education and experiential learning.”

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The proposed framework aims to prepare the education system for the gradual implementation of the provisions of the National Education Policy, such as four-year degree programmes, which includes features such as multiple entries and exits. Among others, it will allow students who have left general education to re-enter the educational ecosystem.

The draft framework has been formulated in accordance with the UGC Regulation (Establishment and Operation of the Academic Credit Bank for Higher Education), notified in July 2021.

Although the National Institute of Open Schooling follows a credit system, there is currently no established credit mechanism for regular school education in the country.

At the higher education level, there is a choice-based credit system, where the requirement for obtaining a degree, diploma or certificate is prescribed in terms of the number of credits to be achieved by students

At the school level, the draft of the National Credit Framework now proposes that the credit system be divided into five levels: from early childhood education to class II; classes III to V; classes VI to VIII, classes IX to X; and, finally, classes XI and XII. A student who passes class XII will be at credit level 4. According to the draft framework, credit points will be carried over to graduation level and beyond.

The framework envisages credit levels up to 8 for those obtaining the PhD degree. Credit levels will range from 4.5 to 6 in four-year undergraduate courses, followed by postgraduate level (between level 6 and 7).

A student must obtain at least 40 credits to complete each school year, in addition to passing the exams. The annual length of “notional learning” to obtain at least 40 credits has been set at 1,200 hours, not only time spent in classrooms, but also a range of extracurricular activities and sports. It can include yoga, other physical activities, performing arts, music, social work, NCC, vocational training, as well as on-the-job training, internships or apprenticeships, among others.

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