In a recent meeting chaired by the Human Resource Development Minister – Prakash Javadekar, a plan to make NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) books compulsory, for all CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliated schools, was announced. This came as good news to some; to others, it came as a worry.
The reason behind this move was majorly the complaints coming from parents of school students, against being forced to buy books by private publishers that are costlier than the NCERT books. However, for now, CBSE has only ‘advised’ the use of NCERT books and not made it compulsory.
CBSE has also provided a link where schools can register and raise demand for NCERT books for students of class 1st to 12th for the academic year of 2017-18. A school can raise this demand only once. This online demand by the schools will be shared with CBSE’s 680 impaneled vendors who are spread across the country and the books will soon be made available to the schools.
There are a number of advantages that making NCERT books compulsory will offer. This includes bringing uniformity to the course content throughout the country. This will further result in an improvement in the quality of the study material. Another advantage of this lies in the relief that the parents get as they do not have to spend on costlier books.
But, this move has also been a cause of worry for many. The availability of NCERT books has always been a problem. Also, many parents seem to have an issue with the material NCERT offers. The course material is not of very high quality, which concerns parents who wish to prepare their students with a high-quality education. If NCERT books are made compulsory, no parent or teacher will have the option of choosing any other book for the students.
On one hand, there are parents who wish to provide their wards with all of their school needs but can not afford expensive books. On the other hand, parents who can afford expensive books are ready to spend extra if they get better quality material in books by private publishers. Therefore, Making any publisher mandatory will not be helpful to an entire lot of people. Instead, a decision keeping in mind the requirements and financial status of all the affected people is the need of the hour.