textbookThe Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recently announced that all the CBSE affiliated schools across the country should make use of only NCERT textbooks from the 2017-18 academic session. This move is aimed at standardising the curriculum across schools.

The decision has also been taken considering that NCERT syllabus is designed to prepare the students thoroughly for engineering, medical and other competitive exams. The decision taken at a review meeting chaired by Prakash Javadekar, The Union Minister for Human Resource Development has come as a relief for the parents who are required to purchase overpriced textbooks from private publishers. The price of such books is usually 300-600% higher compared to the NCERT books.

“Many schools have book kiosks on their premises. As well as selling exorbitantly priced textbooks from private publishers, these shops sell ‘bundle packs’ that include pencils, erasers, and other stationery, which would cost a lot less for parents in the open market. We have also noticed that private publishers are sponsoring several school heads on junkets to countries like Switzerland,” shared a senior HRD official.

NCERT has been asked to ensure that all the textbooks are available in adequate numbers so that the students do not have to suffer.

Following the decision, the schools had also been directed to share their demand on the CBSE website at the earliest. The senior official from the board shared that it has an estimate of the number of NCERT books required for Classes I-XII across the country for any academic session. “As schools raise their demand online, we will know whether they are requisitioning for adequate number of books. The numbers may vary, as March is also a month of admissions. But the schools are expected to factor this in their purchases. CBSE will also monitor the annual subscription by schools,” added the official.

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