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Posted at: Jan 12, 2017, 12:56 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2017, 12:56 AM (IST)

RTI: Schools can’t prescribe books of pvt publishers

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 11

Private schools affiliated to the CBSE or the Haryana Board of School Education (HBSE) cannot force parents to buy books of private publishers for their children.

The CBSE as well as the state Education Department have made it clear in their reply to RTI applications that only books approved by the boards can be prescribed.

The CBSE stated that only the books published by it and the NCERT could be prescribed to students of schools affiliated with it.

“Since the next academic session is approaching, private publishers have already started striking deals with private schools. Every year, parents are forced to buy books of publishers who provide better incentives to school managements,” alleged Virender Bhadu, an advocate who had received information under the RTI.

Along with its reply, the CBSE sent a circular dated April 12 last year, which mentions that the board is aware of tactics being adopted by private schools. “Despite several directions from the board, it has been found that some schools still force children and their parents to buy textbooks other than NCERT/CBSE books, as is evident from complaints received. In this context, the CBSE would like to reiterate that prescribing too many textbooks and coercing parents and children to buy these is an unhealthy practice,” the CBSE circular said.

The letter stated that the NCERT textual materials were the base for preparing test items in the Board examination and the question papers of the CBSE are set according to the prescribed syllabus of the subject.

The CBSE stated that the NCERT had counters at Ajmer, Bhopal, Shillong, Mysore, Ahmedabad, Bangaluru, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar and New Delhi to cater to the needs of individuals and schools.

In a separate reply, the School Education Department stated that private schools could ask children to buy only those books that are prescribed by the board the school is affiliated to. It said the department takes action against the schools prescribing books of private publishers.

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