The CBSE School Curriculum gets its lead from National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005) and also from Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE 2009).

National Curriculum Framework 2005

The paramount guiding principles as proposed by NCF-2005 are connecting knowledge to life outside the school, ensuring that learning is shifted away from rote methods, enriching the curriculum to provide for overall development of children rather than remain textbook centric, making examinations more flexible and integrated into classroom life and, nurturing an over-riding identity informed by caring concerns within the democratic polity of the country.

According to NCF 2005 the greatest national challenge for education is to strengthen our participatory democracy and the values enshrined in our Constitution. Meeting this challenge implies that we make equality and social justice the central theme of curricular reform. Citizenship training has been an important aspect of formal education. Today, it needs to be boldly reconceptualised in terms of the discourse of universal human rights and the approaches associated with critical pedagogy. A clear orientation towards values associated with peace and harmonious coexistence is not only desirable but also essential. Quality in education includes a concern for quality of life in all its dimensions. This is why a concern for peace, protection of the environment and a predisposition towards social change must be viewed as core components of quality, not merely as value premises.

Aims of Education

The Aims of Education are landscaped in the guiding principles of constitution which reflect a commitment to democracy and the values of equality, justice, freedom, concern for others’ well-being, secularism, respect for human dignity and human rights. Education should aim to build a commitment to these values, which are based on reason and understanding. The curriculum, therefore, should provide adequate experience and space for dialogue and discourse in the school to build such a commitment in children. Independence of thought and action points to a capacity of carefully considered, value-based decisionmaking, both individually and collectively. Sensitivity to others’ well-being and feelings, together with knowledge and understanding of the world, should form the basis of a rational commitment to values. Learning to learn and the willingness to unlearn and relearn are important as means of responding to new situations in a flexible and creative manner. The curriculum needs to emphasise on the processes of constructing knowledge.

Choices in life and the ability to participate in democratic processes depend on the ability to contribute to society in various ways. This is why education must develop the ability to work and participate in economic processes and social change. This necessitates the integration of work with education. We must ensure that work-related experiences are sufficient and broad-based in terms of skills and attitudes, that they foster an understanding of socio-economic processes, and help inculcate a mental frame that encourages working with others in a spirit of cooperation. Work alone can create a social temper.

Appreciation of beauty and art forms is an integral part of human life. Creativity in arts, literature and other domains of knowledge is closely linked.

Education must provide the means and opportunities to enhance the child’s creative expression and the capacity for aesthetic appreciation. Education for aesthetic appreciation and creativity is even more important today when aesthetic gullibility allows for opinion and taste to be manufactured and manipulated by market forces. The effort should be to enable the learner to appreciate beauty in its several forms. However, we must ensure that we do not promote stereotypes of beauty and forms of entertainment that might constitute an affront to women and persons with disabilities. (adopted from NCF 2005)

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 special needs.

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

and development;

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

changing society.

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

global perspective.

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:

  1. 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

instituting values.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

goal-oriented process.

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

  1. 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


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. Learners use language to comprehend, acquire and communicate ideas and information and to interact

with others.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Learners recognize the requirement of information, locate and resource it from a range of data available

and evaluate, use and collaborate it with others.

  1. Learners identify, select, use technologies and are able to synthesize, innovate and discover newer

technologies as required.

  1. Learners rationalize and reason about pre-defined arrangements, norms and relationships in order to

comprehend, decode, validate and develop relevant patterns.

  1. 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.


  1. Learners interact harmoniously with people and cultures from across the globe and are tolerant and

empathetic towards others.

  1. Learners involve themselves in cultural pursuits as well as appreciate, respect and acknowledge the

artistic, cultural and intellectual work of others.

  1. Learners value and engage in practices that promote personal, physical as well as mental and cognitive

development, and well being.

  1. Learners have a positive self-esteem.They become confident and self-motivated learners who are able

to work independently as well as collaboratively.

  1. 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.

  1. Learners are aware and participate responsibly in the social, political, economic and cultural


  1. 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

Pedagogical outcomes

Assessment directives

Feedback rubrics

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

Pedagogical strategies

Flow of lesson/unit (including activities/ experiments/hands-on-learning)

Formative assessment tasks

Remedial teaching plan

Interdisciplinary Linkages

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