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Posted at: May 12, 2019, 7:10 AM; last updated: May 12, 2019, 10:22 AM (IST)

Prescribe only NCERT books at elementary level: NCPCR

Prescribe only NCERT books at elementary level: NCPCR
Photo for representation only.

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 11

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has directed the Department of School Education to ensure that no child shall be discriminated or neglected by schools for carrying books published/prescribed by the National Council of Educational Research Training (NCERT).

The commission said there should be reduction in the cost of education in private schools to an extent that only books by prescribed NCERT/SCERT be followed at the elementary level. The directions were issued to the Department of School Education so as to successfully implement Section 29 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, on Tuesday.

However, parents in the city are at the receiving end as they are time and again being forced to buy costly private publishers’ books.

Nitin Goyal, president of the Chandigarh Parents’ Association, said, “NCPCR has clearly interpreted Section 29 of the RTE Act holding that only NCERT and SCERT prescribed textbooks can be prescribed in all schools. Private schools have prescribing highly expensive textbooks and the Director of School Education has turned a blind eye towards this open loot. We have already filed a complaint against the DSE in this regard and the latest circular of the NCPCR has further strengthened our case for prosecuting the corrupt officials as well as getting FIRs registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.”

According to the directions of the commission, if any state or central board follows curriculum, syllabus, textbooks and evaluation procedure for elementary classes other than what is prescribed by the NCERT or respective SCERT, it shall amount to a violation of the RI’E Act.

The commission said the SCERT in states needed to ascertain that the curriculum and evaluation procedure prescribed is as per Section 29 (2) of the RTE Act.

The commission has also sought compliance of the recommendations to be sent within 30 days of issue of the letter.

Director, School Education, Rubinderjit Singh Brar, said they would examine the details and ensure compliance of directions.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary BL Sharma said, “Schools in general are following instructions/ guidelines of the CBSE. In government schools, we have prescribed NCERT books only. Some private schools are prescribing non-NCERT books. It’s a ticklish issue which requires intervention of the CBSE or other relevant board, to which schools are affiliated.”

Child panel’s recommendations

  • No child to be harassed by the school for carrying books published/prescribed by the academic authority (NCERT/SCERT) causing 'mental or physical suffering'. Any action taken against the child and hence, may attract the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
  • Schools to be asked to display the directions on their website and notice board.
  • Copy of directions be circulated and disseminated by the schools among parents for information.

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