National Curriculum Framework 2076: Overview

The National Curriculum Framework 2076 is a comprehensive educational blueprint shaped by diverse factors: geographical, social, and cultural contexts, iterative development processes, and ICT integration.

National Curriculum Framework

The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) of 2076 emerges as a meticulously crafted educational blueprint, drawing upon a diverse spectrum of influential factors. These factors encompass geographical, social, cultural, economic, and educational contexts, which collectively shape the curriculum’s essence. The framework’s evolution is informed by iterative curriculum development processes, alongside considerations of curriculum organization both horizontally and vertically.

Emphasizing curricular continuity and value-driven education, the NCF prioritizes life skills, ICT integration, and equity-oriented inclusivity to prepare learners for diverse pathways, including employment and self-employment. Acknowledging linguistic diversity and the marginalized, it blends pedagogical traditions and contemporary methodologies. Furthermore, globalization’s impact, assessment mechanisms, educational quality, and research integration guide its design. Parallelly, the NCF shifts towards a competency-based paradigm, focusing on holistic child development, integrated and inclusive curricula, and localized relevance.

The incorporation of ICT, life skills, work-oriented approaches, and participatory engagement enhances the curriculum’s dynamism. Rooted in Nepali theories and values, the framework aligns learning areas, quality criteria, and research insights, epitomizing a holistic and inclusive educational vision.


The Government of Nepal ratified the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2076 on September 6, 2019, with the aim of introducing transformative modifications to the school curriculum. This significant document has been established as the principal dynamic reference for the educational system at the school level. Encompassing an amalgamation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SGD 2030), the School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) framework, and the contextual intricacies of the federal structure, the new curriculum framework has been formulated.

In terms of its structural delineation, the NCF 2076 comprises 88 pages, segregated into six distinct sections. These sections encompass the backdrop of the framework, contemporary elements linked to curriculum development, the theoretical foundation and policy underpinning curriculum advancement, the architecture of the school education curriculum, the assessment of students, the endorsement process, the execution strategy for the national curriculum framework, and accompanying annexes. The framework is supplemented by five appendices, further reinforcing its comprehensive nature, and is further subdivided into 44 subtopics within the overarching framework of the six major sections.

Major Features

National Curriculum Framework 2076 has introduced substantial transformative modifications to the educational curriculum within the school context. Foremost among these modifications are the prominent features encompassing an integrated curriculum structure for grades 1 to 3 and the establishment of a unified curriculum for grades 9 to 12. Notable alterations also include the implementation of a structured credit hour system entailing 32 working hours per credit hour, with variations of 26 credit hours for grades 1 to 3, 32 credit hours for grades 4 to 10, and 27 to 32 credit hours for grades 11 to 12. Moreover, schools are granted the prerogative to incorporate an additional subject, thus allowing flexibility within the curriculum.

A significant departure from the prior approach is the transition from an objective-based curriculum to a competency-based curriculum, a shift that underscores the development of practical skills and abilities. Noteworthy revisions involve the introduction of a technology subject commencing from grade 4, as well as an augmented emphasis on imparting values of human ethics and morality. The NCF also introduces a novel mode of the Continuous Assessment System (CAS), reimagined as CAS for learning, which dedicates working hours to assessment, review, and remedial instruction, thereby enhancing the overall learning experience

Curriculum Development Process

The National Curriculum Framework of 2076 underscores a comprehensive approach encompassing six pivotal stages in the process of curriculum development. These sequential phases involve:

Action Plan Formulation: The Curriculum Development Center (CDC) initiated the process by devising an action plan that laid the foundation for crafting the curriculum framework. This pivotal step delineated the roadmap for subsequent activities.

Thematic Group Formation and Draft Preparation: Seven thematic groups were constituted to collaboratively formulate the initial draft version. These groups collectively engaged in the systematic development of the framework, ensuring a holistic and informed approach.

Literature Review: A comprehensive review of pertinent literature was conducted, encompassing multiple dimensions. This included an assessment of the curriculum framework of 2063, international curriculum practices, and alignment with national policies, thereby integrating best practices and contextual relevance.

Analysis of Existing Materials: A meticulous evaluation of extant textbooks and curricular materials was undertaken, encompassing horizontal, vertical, adequacy, and relevancy dimensions. This assessment ensured the alignment of the new framework with existing educational resources.

Stakeholder Engagement: Feedback and suggestions from diverse stakeholders were solicited and incorporated into the evolving framework. This inclusive engagement facilitated the integration of varied perspectives, enriching the curriculum development process.

Draft Revision and Finalization: The draft version, informed by insights from thematic groups, literature review, material analysis, and stakeholder feedback, underwent rigorous revision. This culminated in the preparation of the final version. The Council of National Curriculum Development and Evaluation endorsed the framework’s final version on 2076/05/19, with official approval granted on 2076/05/20, signifying the culmination of the curriculum development journey.

Major Factors are taken into Consideration

During the formulation of the National Curriculum Framework 2076, a comprehensive array of twenty distinct influencing factors was meticulously considered. These factors spanned various domains including geographical, social, cultural, economic, and educational contexts. Additionally, the iterative process of curriculum development revision, as well as the overarching context of curriculum organization both horizontally and vertically, played pivotal roles in shaping the framework. The importance of ensuring curricular continuity and the incorporation of value-driven education were integral aspects of the deliberations.

The imperative to equip learners with life skills, facilitating their preparedness for both employment and self-employment, alongside the growing necessity for ICT-integrated education, were acknowledged as significant drivers of curriculum evolution. Matters pertaining to mother tongue-based education, as well as the inclusion of marginalized groups, were underscored as central tenets of the curriculum’s inclusiveness. Moreover, the pedagogical framework, Sanskrit education, traditional instructional methodologies, and locally tailored educational approaches all significantly contributed to the comprehensive considerations.

Furthermore, the influence of globalization on educational paradigms, the mechanisms of student evaluation, educational quality assurance, and the relevancy of curriculum content were scrutinized during the curriculum formulation process. The integration of research undertakings and the capacity of educational institutions were also integral elements within this reflective process.

In addition to the aforementioned factors, a paradigm shift towards a competency-based curriculum development approach was embraced. This approach encompassed a holistic perspective, focusing on the multifaceted development of children in alignment with their developmental stages. The adoption of an integrated curriculum design, coupled with an emphasis on inclusivity and local relevance, were recognized as essential principles guiding curriculum construction. The integration of information and communication technology (ICT) and the cultivation of life skills, alongside work-oriented pedagogy, participatory engagement, and flexible diversity-responsive curricula, were pivotal considerations.

The Nepali theoretical foundations, encompassing norms, values, and Eastern knowledge, provided further underpinnings for curriculum design. The orchestration of learning areas and theoretical frameworks, normative criteria for educational quality, and curriculum rooted in research insights were all integral components within this comprehensive deliberative process.

Teaching and Learning Perspective

This curriculum framework also focused on some teaching and learning practices as well. Regarding the medium of instruction, there should be Nepali language or mother tongue at the basic level, and Nepali or English language in the secondary but the content related to social studies human values, morals, art, culture, the indigenous matter should be taught and facilitated by the Nepali language, and the same language for the subject of language. It also expects the vision of developing a national quality standard benchmark at the national, provincial, and local levels.

In addition to that, The National Curriculum Framework also highlights the provision of colourful and multi-textbook and ICT-based materials, using child-centred and child-friendly teaching methods, practical work; accessing education through open and alternative education systems, and emphasizing technical stream at the secondary level and soft skill at the basic level.

School Education Structure and Framework

This National Curriculum Framework has provisioned two levels (basic and secondary level) of school education. The basic level covers grades ECD-8 having children of years 4-12 and the secondary level covers grades 9-12 having students of years 13-16 years. At the basic level, there are 12 learning competencies and 15 at the secondary level.

In ECD, there are 11 learning areas from two major areas: basic and subject skill; and the total credit hours is 576. This curriculum also provisioned the total annual credit hour and annual working hours of grades 1-3 to be 26 and 832 respectively. In grades 1-3, there are 6 subjects. Moreover, regarding grades 4-5, the total credit hour and annual working hours are 32 and 1024 respectively. There are 7 subjects.

In addition to that, the total credit hours and working hours of grades 6-10 are 32 and 1032 respectively. There are subjects in grades 6-10. In grades 9-10, there are 42 subjects in OPT I and 35 subjects in OPT II in the general stream. But, there are 9 subjects with 4 optional subjects in the technical stream.

Regarding grades 11-12, total credit hours and annual working hours are 27 and 864 respectively. There are four core subjects and three optional subjects in grades 11 and 12 in the general stream. In addition to that school may add one subject of 5 credits having 160 hours.

Evaluation and Validation System

NCF 2076 incorporates a comprehensive framework for evaluating educational processes within the school system. The assessment structure encompasses various percentages of the Continuous Assessment System (CAS) and periodic examinations across different grade levels.

Specifically, grades 1 to 3 adopt a 100% CAS approach, grades 4 to 5 integrate a balanced 50% CAS and 50% periodic examination model, grades 6 to 7 combine 40% CAS and 60% periodic examination, while grades 8 to 12 incorporate a distribution of 25% internal assessment and 75% external examination. In the context of technical education in grades 9 to 12, a parity between practical and theoretical components is observed, with a 50% allocation to each.

Notably, the administration and endorsement of grade 11 and 12 examinations fall under state jurisdiction, grade 10 examinations are managed and endorsed at the provincial level, and grade 8 examinations are conducted and endorsed at the local level. Additionally, a letter grading system is implemented uniformly across all grades within the school education system.

Curriculum Implementation Process

To implement this curriculum, the grade 1 curriculum was piloted in 2076 in 103 schools from 17 districts and implemented in 2077. The curriculum of grades 2, 3, and 6 will be piloted in 2077 and implemented from 2078. Likewise, the curriculum of grades 4, 7, and 9 will be piloted in 2078 and implemented in 2079. Moreover, the curriculum of grades 8, 10, 11, and 12 will be implemented from 2080, 2080, 2077, and 2078 respectively.

Critical Reflection

Some of the strong parts of the NFC are it is the soft skill, competence, and integration-driven curriculum in the federal context of Nepal, the provision of employment-focused single path curriculum in secondary education, the plan of implementation of the new curriculum within a 5 year, the concept of local curriculum development; and purpose of ICT based and human values-based content in the school curriculum. However, this curriculum framework has some issues from the perspective of implementation.

The curriculum itself is nothing and the way of implementing the curriculum by school teachers in a classroom through developing lesson materials is the main thing. So, the question may be raised: Does it implement effectively? The curriculum framework couldn’t visualize and provide a clear framework for that. It also focuses on CAS in the new model which has also provisioned many forms for that. Can teachers be ready to use these tools?. The concept of implementing integration in early grades also depends on teachers’ skills and competence.

Thus, the real implementation of the intended curriculum based on the school scenario is the most challenging aspect of this curriculum. However, this framework would be the real guideline for implementing instructional activities to bring changes in students in the national and international context.


Curriculum Development Center (CDC). (2019). National Curriculum Framework: School Education