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The truth behind “NCERT-printed books made compulsory for CBSE Schools”

Team ScooNews
The truth behind “NCERT-printed books made compulsory for CBSE Schools”

News and stories have been doing the round online and in print medium for the last 2 months that for the academic session 2017-18 it will be mandatory for CBSE affiliated schools to use NCERT printed textbook.

This is good news for all parents, as their biggest complaint is the high cost of privately published and printed textbooks and notebooks extracted from them by the schools. Parents also feel that the weight of the school bag is too much as per the age and carrying capabilities of the child.

ScooNews team decided to investigate and find out the truth. Is it really going to happen where in the schools must use only NCERT printed books or there is some misunderstanding by the media and public? Parents have complained that the stories have made them understand that the use of NCERT textbooks was mandatory.

We decided to investigate the content of the sources i.e. the CBSE circulars being used as references in stories and news. We also spoke to several educators, administrators and textbook industry insiders.

Here is what we found:

  • The circulars are totally advisory in nature and nowhere do they refer to this action as "mandatory".
  • The circular number Acad-07/2017 dated 14th February 2017 is informative in nature and informs the schools on the way to order textbooks via the CBSE website and how the distribution and delivery will happen.

  • In fact, the 2nd paragraph ends with the following sentence: “However, from the learner’s point of view, a child always has an option to refer to additional textual materials if he / she so desired”. This statement is open to interpretation.
  • In the same circular in the 3rd paragraph, the following is stated: “CBSE has been drawing the attention of all affiliated schools for use of NCERT textbooks as far as practicable as reiterated in CBSE’s circular no 20/2014 dtd 06/02/2014…”. However, what is the definition of practicable is missing in these circulars. The language used is more of an advisory than regulatory.

  • It is advisable to read Rule no. 15.1 (d) of circular number 20/2014 to understand that the schools are free to use any privately published textbook if the prescribed guidelines in this rule are followed.

We also spoke to many educators and their take was that the media has totally blown this issue out of proportions and there is no such directive making NCERT textbooks mandatory.

As per a report by the New Indian Express dated 24th February 2017,

“Clearing the air, Ajeeth Prasad Jain, a senior principal and member of the CBSE governing body, and the Publisher’s Association, issued a joint statement clarifying that NCERT printed books were not compulsory and that the CBSE circular had been misinterpreted. They also clarified that NCERT books printed by private publishers could also be used."

"A joint statement of the Publishers’ Association said the CBSE offered schools another facility to indent their requirement for NCERT books online, in addition to their printed forms."

It further said, “The circular was issued to get the requirement of NCERT text books for the academic year 2017-18. Online requests would be treated as a school’s demand for NCERT books.”

We hope our investigation clears the confusion on this and clarifies to all parents that they should buy the textbooks as prescribed by the school. Where they buy them from is totally a decision to be taken by them as per the supply and availability information provided by the school.

General Information for students/ parents:

If aggrieved due to any misunderstanding regarding any issue on the part of the school, you may e-mail to CBSE at [email protected]

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