U’khand has a mega plan: NCERT books in all schools irrespective of board affiliationsdehradun Updated: Jun 20, 2017 14:07 IST
The proposal is likely to be introduced from the next academic session.(Kalpak Pathak /HT File)
Uttarakhand plans to make National Council of Educational Research Training (NCERT) books mandatory in schools irrespective of their affiliations for bringing uniformity in education and for dismantling the nexus of private schools and publishers.
If the plan works, NCERT books will be introduced from the next academic session for standard 3 to 12. The government has taken NCERT authorities onboard for its plan to publish the books in Uttarakhand.
After a meeting with NCERT authorities on Wednesday night, school education minister Arvind Pandey got the nod from them to publish these books in the state and to supply them to dealers who in turn will deliver it to the schools.
Currently, schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Uttarakhand Board of School Education (UBSE) follow NCERT books. But the exception to this norm is private schools, a majority of which are affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).
“We have taken consent of NCERT authorities to publish books here. The plan is to have all boards adopting the same books. This will help in checking private publishers who are selling expensive books to students of private schools. It will also improve the quality of education,” Pandey told Hindustan Time on Thursday.
The state government spends an estimated Rs 8 crore annually in publishing books every year. This fund covers cost of re-evaluation of syllabus, research and other details. If NCERT books are accepted by all schools, the government will be able to stop this expenditure meant for publishing and for state-level research and training.
Private schools engaging private publishers for high commissions in exchange of prescribing their expensive textbooks is a well-known fact. Sources claim some of the top private schools earn over Rs 5 crore annually out of this business.
Pandey has held talks with some private schools for introducing NCERT books notwithstanding their affiliation. Doon’s Bala Hissar Academy principal Madhulika Sandhu said NCERT books are good for Science and Math but there was need to upgrade English books. “I have personally found mistakes in NCERT books. The syllabus of NCERT may be good for competitions, but the language and especially English needs to be upgraded.”
“The decision rest with the central unit of CISCE. We are here only to conduct examination,” CISCE convenor, Dehradun, PS Kalra said.
At the same time, the government will promote ‘book banks’ in schools. For its succesfull implementation, the gap set for altering school syllabus will be at least five years. This, sources in the school department say, will come to the help of the poor and needy students who can utilize the old donated books.
“After a year, the books become waste. Once NCERT books are used in the syllabus of every board, we can have old books for the needy students. With this, we will bring down paper use and contribute to a healthy ecosystem,” Pandey asserted.