The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to make a periodic review of the textbooks of all the private publishers prescribed by its affiliated schools.
The decision of making this review has come about after CBSE conducted a series of meetings with the human resource development ministry and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). The regular review by CBSE would be an attempt to ensure that the books prescribed are at par with the National Curriculum Framework. As per the senior officials at MHRD, the ministry is conducting regular meetings with CBSE and NCERT to discuss the matter.
The idea of the periodic review was called upon when certain school books by private publishers came into limelight owing to their controversial content. These included an environmental science book that explained the method of killing a kitten at length. It taught students how they can kill a kitten by shutting it in a box without holes. The animal rights activists got furious at learning this and called for immediate action against the publisher. Sociology textbook for class 12 students created even more stir. It suggested that the reason why people demand dowry is because of a girl’s ugliness.
Parents also complained about being forced to purchase expensive textbooks from private publishers. Owing to these reasons the board has made NCERT textbooks mandatory for academic session 2017-18.
More than 1,400 CBSE schools have reportedly increased the indent for NCERT textbooks for classes I to XII for the upcoming session. The deadline for increasing the indent was increased from February 22 to February 28 by the board after the schools requested to push the date further. An indent for around 32 lakh NCERT books has been increased by far. The council would supposedly be making this available before the beginning of this academic session. The board has set up 680 distribution vendors across the country for proper distribution of books.
The government in association with the schools is making efforts to make sure that adequate number of NCERT books is available so that the students and parents are not required to purchase over-priced private textbooks.
There are certain courses such as computer science for which NCERT books are not published. As per a senior board official, CBSE will rely on the private publishers for such courses however they will keep a check on the content included in the same.