Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009
According to the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act) free and compulsory
education is a right of every child in the age group of six to fourteen years in a neighbourhood school till
completion of elementary education (class I to VIII). No child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges
or expenses which may prevent her from pursuing and completing the elementary education. No child can be
refused admission on any grounds and will be admitted to her age appropriate class and have a right to
receive special training so that she child can cope with the current curriculum. Education will be inclusive
and the schools are supposed to make appropriate arrangements for children with disabilities and with
Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act) Chapter V delineates in explicit terms related
to curriculum and the evaluation procedures thus ensuring a clear focus on the quality of elementary
education. It states that an academic authority, to be specified by the appropriate Government, by
notification, shall lay down the curriculum and the evaluation procedure for elementary education. The
academic authority, while laying down the curriculum and the evaluation procedure shall take into
consideration the following:
(a) conformity with the values enshrined in the constitution;
(b) all round development of the child;
(c) building up child’s knowledge, potential and talent;
(d) development of child’s physical and mental abilities to the fullest extent;
(e) learning through activities, discovery and exploration in a child friendly and child centered manner;
(f) medium of instructions shall, as far as practicable, be in child’s mother tongue;
(g) making the child free of fear, trauma, anxiety and helping the child to express her views freely;
(h) comprehensive and continuous evaluation of child’s understanding of knowledge and her ability to apply the same.
It also outlines that no child shall be required to pass any Board examination till completion of elementary education as well as every child completing her elementary education shall be awarded a certificate in such form and in such manner, as may be prescribed.
Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act) also defines norms for the minimum number of working days/instructional hours in an academic year. It allocates-
- 1. 200 (two hundred) working days for first to fifth class
- 2. 220 (two hundred and twenty) working days for sixth to eighth class
- 3. 800 (eight hundred) instructional hours per academic year for first to fifth class
- 4. 1000 (one thousand) instructional hours per academic year for sixth to eighth class
The minimum number of working hours per week for the teacher should be 45 (forty-five). This includes both teaching and preparation time.
Formulation of CBSE School Curriculum
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005) is the framework on the basis of which the Central Board of Secondary Education formulates its own curriculum and syllabus document by adopting and adapting the guidelines and syllabus provided.
There are a number of underlying factors, which are evident in this document:
values and underlying principles of the Constitution;
general and specific teaching and assessment objectives;
learning outcomes of different levels Secondary and Senior Secondary;
lesson distribution in terms of time;
possible innovative pedagogies for curricular transaction, transformative and beyond textbooks and
integration of cross-curricular themes for all subject areas;
collaboration between home and school;
collaboration between school and community;
project based learning to build research capabilities;
guidance and counselling activities through counsellors appointed by the schools;
emphasis on inclusion strategies;
provision of diagnostic and remedial teaching-learning;
emphasis on multiple modes of assessment through descriptors of good performance;
organisation of various club activities such as, ‘Eco Club’, ‘Health and Wellness Club’, ‘Literary Clubs’,
‘Disaster Management Clubs’, ‘Consumer Clubs’, etc.;
provision of integrated activity based program on Environmental Education from classes I-XII;
provision of NCC/NSS and other activities mentioned under physical education;
provision of varied disciplines under sports but definitely the 16 disciplines which form a part of the
CBSE Competitive Sports program.
Core Rationale of CBSE School Curriculum – The underlying Values
“Education, as a planned endeavour, at a personal level, on a small scale or institutional level on a large
scale, aims at making children capable of becoming active, responsible, productive, and caring members of
society. They are made familiar with the various practices of the community by imparting the relevant
skills and ideas. Ideally, education is supposed to encourage the students to analyse and evaluate their
experiences, to doubt, to question, to investigate-in other words, to be inquisitive and to think
-NCF 2005 (Position Paper- Aims of Education)
The core values of CBSE School Curriculum draw its strength,by keeping pace with the 21st century and the
global trends of educational transformations, as well as keeping in view that India is an independent nation
with a rich variegated history, extraordinarily complex cultural diversity, and commitment to democratic
values and general well-being.
One of the basic aims of education is to nurture a sound mind and strong value driven character in a learner.
Learners should be educated to uphold the democratic values, respect the Rules of Law, and support
humanitarian ideals; they should engage in healthy practices to be able to develop robust and healthy
physiques, learn how to think for themselves and be creative.
We aim at nurturing responsible citizens with a sense of patriotism and a global perspective. In principle,
education is a learning progression to help learners explore their innate capacity and talents as well as
develop their potential to improve and enhance sustainability of their living environment.
Keeping this in mind, we need to have a rationale with core components as follows:
“Nurturing Life-skills” includes developing an improved self-esteem, building empathy towards others
and different cultures, etc. Improving on their critical and creative thinking and making them better at
problem solving with a balanced approach towards decision-making. The core life-skills must be integral
to the whole process of education.
“Integration” includes creating harmony of sense with sensibility, a connection between knowledge and
application, and integrating human sciences with technological innovations.
“Upholding Constitutional values” includes safeguarding values expressed in the Constitutionsovereignty,
socialism, secularism, democracy, republican character, justice, liberty, equality,
fraternity, human dignity and the unity, and integrity of the Nation.
“A global perspective” includes keeping pace with the 21st century and the global trends, enhance
learner’s ability to understand her status and position in the community and the world, develop
understanding how we all are interconnected and how we can bring about transformations as well as the
individual’s responsibility in this change process.
“Lifelong learning” includes seeing education as a liberating process, leading to active exploration,
problem solving, and the utilization of information and languages, leading to socially transformative
“Appreciating Individual differences” means to promote and nourish a wide range of capacities and skills
in learners. As intelligence is diverse in its dimension, pedagogy and evaluation should aim at making it
possible for this diversity to bloom. Excellence in diverse areas should be accepted and rewarded.
CBSE School Curriculum Mission and Goals
The curriculum will adopt the following principles:
to create a connect between learners’ spiritual, ethical, social, cognitive, mental and physical growth
to nurture individuality and thus enhance one’s innate potential;
to foster constitutional literacy and tolerance for different cultures;
to develop scientific outlook and transformative competences, in order to meet the demands of a
The aim of education is not just to let learners obtain basic knowledge but to make them life-long learners.
It is to nurture future citizens who are mentally and physically robust, assertive, confident, empathetic and
helpful to the community, intellectually inquisitive and reflective, tolerant and with a creative vision and
Schools will accomplish such standards through the promotion of value based learning activities which
emphasize humanity, practicality, individuality, inclusiveness, and modernity. Such activities involve
collaborations between oneself and others, individuals and the community, as well as humans and nature. To
achieve this, we must guide our learners to achieve the following curriculum goals:
To enhance self-awareness and explore innate potential;
To develop creativity and the ability to appreciate art and showcase one’s own talents;
To promote capabilities related to goal setting, decision making and lifelong learning;
To nurture assertive communication and interpersonal skills;
To learn to be empathetic towards others, display dignity and respect to the opposite gender, to
contribute for the community, and focus on preserving environment;
To foster cultural learning and international understanding in an interdependent society;
To strengthen knowledge and attitude related to livelihood skills;
To acquire the ability to utilize technology and information for the betterment of humankind;
To inspire the attitude of functional and participatory learning; and
To develop abilities related to thinking skills and problem solving.
Core Competence and Outcomes
In order to achieve the above-mentioned goals, the curriculum shall focus on the requirements and
capabilities of learners and aim at developing core competences which a global 21st century citizen should
possess. Such core competences may be categorized as follows:
- Self-awareness and exploration of innate potential, which involves a thorough understanding of one’s
personality, competencies, emotions, requirements, and dispositions, respect and love for self, regular
self-reflection, self-discipline, optimistic attitude, and ethics, showcasing one’s individuality, and
- Appreciation, representation, and vision, which include the ability to perceive and appreciate the
beauty of things as well as using imagination and creativity, developing a dynamic and innovative
attitude, and expressing one in order to promote the quality of living.
- Goal setting, decision making and lifelong learning, which involves the development of individual
abilities in order to bring forth one’s talents, chart the path for future success, and develop the
capability of lifelong learning in accordance with the transition of the current century.
- Effective Communication skills which involve making effective use of all kinds of symbols (such as
languages in both verbal and non-verbal forms, sounds, motions, visual and written) and tools (such as
media and technology) in order to interpersonal relationships through skills of listening attentively to
and communicating effectively with others, and sharing various perspectives and information assertively
with others improve/inhance.
- Empathy, which involves being aware of other people’s feelings and situations, respect for the opposite
gender, tolerant of different opinions, unbiased to humans and groups of different identities, with
respect for life and thoughtfulness for the community, towards environment, and nature, obeying and
respecting the rules of the law, and holding an attitude which is conducive for collaborative work and
leads to individual, societal as well as global transformation.
- Cultural tolerance and international understanding, which involves appreciating and respecting different
groups and cultures, taking pride in the history and culture of one’s own country as well as holding a
positive outlook towards different cultures, developing a global perspective with conjoint
interdependence, trust and cooperation.
- Knowledge and attitude related to livelihood skills, adopting approaches by which such considerations
and practices are incorporated, equipping and enabling each member to contribute to the community as
well as serve the public and one’s country in a productive way.
- Utilization of technology and information, which involves the utilization of technology in a positive, safe
and effective way for the welfare of mankind, for boosting learning efficacy and living quality.
- Functional and participatory learning, leading to the development of higher order thinking skills.
Encouraging inquisitiveness and keen observation, actively exploring and discovering solutions, and
applying knowledge, attitude and skills in daily life.
- Thinking skills and problem solving, which involves cultivating the ability and habit of thinking creatively
and reflectively, making logical analyses and decisions, and effectively solving problems and resolving
Conception of Learning and Learning Environment
Learning occurs both at the individual as well as the peer group level and lies in the process of building
knowledge and skills. Learning in a purposeful way takes place by a learner independently, in class with a
teacher and out of class interaction with the peer group and the larger community. Learning is an active and
Learning environment must be physically, psychologically and socially safe. It should motivate learners to
develop effective study skills and become lifelong learners.
Curriculum Areas at Secondary Level
For the purpose of fostering core competences in learners, the curriculum encompasses seven major learning
areas, which are: Languages, Humanities, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Health and Physical
Education, Visual arts, Performing arts and contemporary subjects.
It refers to the content of learning, not the titles of subjects. Beyond the required core and elective courses,
optional courses relevant to specific curriculum areas may also be made available in consideration of
changing individual, societal and global requirements and demands.
Major Contents of Each Curriculum Learning Area in Secondary Classes
- Languages include Hindi, English, and another 32 languages (detailed in Curriculum Volume II) and focus
on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, along with developing effective communicating
- Humanities (Geography, History, Economics and Political Science) include the learning of history and
culture, geographical environment, global institutions, constitutional values and norms, politics,
economy, interpersonal and societal interactions, civic responsibilities, and the incorporation of the
above-mentioned learning into one’s life.
- Performing and Visual Arts (Dance, Drama, Music, Drawing, Painting, Crafts and Sculpture) include,
instruction in these arts, aiming to help learners cultivate an interest and appreciation for arts and
encourage them to enthusiastically participate in related activities, thus promoting abilities such as
imagination, creativity, valueing arts, and the cultural heritage.
- Science and Technology (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Sciences) include gaining knowledge
about matter and energy, nature, the environment, technology, breakthroughs in science. It will focus
on knowledge and skills to develop a scientific attitude, use and application of such knowledge and skills
to improve the quality of life and further use this learning to analyse, evaluate, synthesise, create,
invent and discover.
- Mathematics includes acquiring the concepts related to number sense, operation sense, computation,
measurement, geometry, probability and statistics, the skill to calculate and organize, and the ability to
apply this knowledge and acquired skills in their daily life. It also includes understanding of the
principles of reasoning and problem solving.
- Health and Physical Education focuses on the learning for holistic development, both mental and
physical. Understanding the importance of physical fitness, health, well-being and the factors that
contribute to them. Focus of this curriculum is on helping learners develop a positive attitude and
commitment to lifelong, healthy active living and the capacity to live satisfying, productive lives with
the help of proper health management, sports, yoga, fitness and lifestyle choices.
These six learning areas are to be integrated with each other in terms of knowledge, skills (life and
livelihood), comprehension, values and attitudes. Learners should get opportunities to connect between
different areas of knowledge and application. They should be encouraged to cognize and appreciate the
interconnectedness of all knowledge and the enduring connection between knowledge and values. Their
education should help them to connect the content of their learning areas and subjects with their own lives
and the world around them. The holistic nature of human learning and knowledge should be brought forth
Main Pedagogical Outcomes for Curriculum Learning Areas
- Learners use language to comprehend, acquire and communicate ideas and information and to interact
- Learners identify, integrate and apply numerical and spatial concepts and techniques. They have clarity
of concepts and are able to connect them to the real world.
- Learners understand and appreciate the physical, biological and technological world and acquire the
knowledge, and develop attitude, skills and values to make rational decisions in relation to it.
- Learners understand their cultural, geographical and historical milieus and gain in depth knowledge,
attitude, skills and values necessary to bring about transformation for a better India.
- Learners recognize the requirement of information, locate and resource it from a range of data available
and evaluate, use and collaborate it with others.
- Learners identify, select, use technologies and are able to synthesize, innovate and discover newer
technologies as required.
- Learners rationalize and reason about pre-defined arrangements, norms and relationships in order to
comprehend, decode, validate and develop relevant patterns.
- Learners think laterally, critically, identify opportunity, challenge their potential and are open to
challenges. They are aware of consequences and take ownership of their deeds.
- Learners interact harmoniously with people and cultures from across the globe and are tolerant and
empathetic towards others.
- Learners involve themselves in cultural pursuits as well as appreciate, respect and acknowledge the
artistic, cultural and intellectual work of others.
- Learners value and engage in practices that promote personal, physical as well as mental and cognitive
development, and well being.
- Learners have a positive self-esteem.They become confident and self-motivated learners who are able
to work independently as well as collaboratively.
- Learners appreciate and value everyone’s right to feel respected and safe, and, in this regard, also
understand their constitutional rights as well as duties, and behave responsibly.
- Learners are aware and participate responsibly in the social, political, economic and cultural
- Learners are equipped with the attitude and skills to be a lifelong learner.
Implementation of Curriculum
Formulating a comprehensive and all encompassing School Curriculum Plan (Syllabus) is an essential way
forward to this Curriculum document. Schools will establish a School Curriculum Committee, which will have
teachers representing each subject. This committee will be responsible to draft the school curriculum plan
for the coming session, by the beginning of this session based on the Curriculum documents. This committee
shall define the teaching periods for each subject for each grade, review textbooks, develop topics and
activities for pedagogical practices, and evolve a plan for the teaching learning process, evaluation and be
able to provide feedback for reflection. This committee should continue meeting, reviewing and assessing
the pedagogical practices on a regular basis. Subject experts, scholars and professionals may also be invited
to join the committee in advisory capacity, when necessary. Schools may join hands to establish an interschool
committee within their ‘Sahodaya’ groups. These committees must ensure and record that the text
books selected for classes I-VIII (other than NCERT books) do not contain any material which may hurt the
sentiments of any community. The books should also reflect gender sensitivity and be in conformity with the
underlying principles of the Constitution of India.
This Committee will consolidate the efforts of all school staff as well as resources provided, to develop a
comprehensive school-based curriculum, giving due importance to both Scholastic as well as Co-Scholastic
The School Curriculum Plan (Syllabus) will include:
Pedagogical goals of the school for the session
Subject specific pedagogical objectives
Mapping of units with pedagogical objectives
Resources/activities to achieve the unit wise pedagogical objectives
This Plan will also contain specified descriptions on how to infuse the core areas (including Life Skills
Education, Values Education, Gender Sensitivity, Environmental Education, Information Technology
Education, Human Rights Education, Health and Wellness Education) into the teaching of each subject. It is a
good idea to involve parents in formulating this plan. The plan is an effective tool to let parents connect and
support the pedagogical practices of the school.
Lesson/ Unit Plans
Lesson plans for the topics will be prepared by the teachers within their faculty. This will be supported by
the School Curriculum Plan (Syllabus). Some important components of this plan can be:
Specific learning outcomes
Unit/topic learning contexts
Flow of lesson/unit (including activities/ experiments/hands-on-learning)
Formative assessment tasks
Remedial teaching plan
Infusion of Core (Life-skills, Values, Gender sensitivty etc.)
Resources (including ICT)
The component of remedial teaching is to be drafted keeping in view differentiated instructional
requirements of the individual learners. As the learning difficulties are observed, the remedial teaching must
be taken up. This should be planned with a mutual understanding with the parents who should be informed
about how the remedial instruction is being provided.
Creating Cross-Curricular Linkages
Cross-curricular linkages are vital to learning as it is important to be able to connect prior knowledge and
experiences and new information with experiences. Such connections are essentially required for being able
to make sense of our world and foster learning capacity.
Linkages between subjects also help learners more effectively apply and embed skills and knowledge in
meaningful and purposeful contexts. For example, mathematical data handling and interpretation can be
effectively applied in geography and science; learners can write better-framed answers in history, geography
and science when they have learnt how to write explanations/short descriptions in a language; learning to
make well-formed strokes can help learners illustrate their science diagrams with great perfection. Roleplays
in language classrooms can act as effective tools once the learners have been exposed to dramatics.
Strong links such as these can undoubtedly enhance learning in all subjects. They help learners connect,
with a greater range, of the skills, attitude and knowledge they are acquiring in specific subjects. Creating
cross-curricular linkages can help learners reflect on their learning. Aspects of learning such as problem
solving, reasoning, creative thinking can be used across the curriculum.
Teachers should involve learners in cross-curricular (Interdisciplinary) projects thus helping them recognise
these underpinning skills and how to use them in a variety of contexts