Schools to have NCERT books soon: Anil Swarup
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The Ministry Human Resource Development (MHRD) is planning to ensure NCERT books are available as an option to students of all public and private schools, to help them buy textbooks at a cheaper price.
According to Anil Swarup, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy (MHRD), book orders would be sought from public and private schools on the NCERT website in the first week of August, so advance preparations can be made and the entire supply chain is managed to ensure books are available on time. “We are not going to say that NCERT books are mandatory in schools… There should be a choice available to a child and the school to source NCERT books. There will be NCERT books and non-NCERT books, and the option will be left to the school and the child,” Swarup said at an event in Kolkata.
Swarup said that since the NCERT was unable to supply these books, children and schools had no option but to go for non-NCERT books. He also claimed that the performance of students using NCERT books was better than those studying from non-NCERT books. “If you consider the performance of students of Kendriya Vidayalaya and Navodaya schools, where 100 per cent of books are NCERT publications, the performance percentage of these institutions is much better than others,” he said.
Swarup further elaborated: “So far, our information says CBSE has 20,000 schools, and 13 crore books are consumed by students. But while the maximum price of an NCERT book is Rs 50, that of a non-NCERT book goes upto Rs 300 — six times more than NCERT books. While buying NCERT books, these 20,000 schools spend Rs 650 crore, but for non-NCERT publications they will have to spend Rs 3,900 crore. This is not a small margin. I am worried about the financial burden on school children — there is no qualitative comparison.”
When asked to comment on reducing the weight of school bags, he said: “We are looking at it very seriously. The final view on this is yet to be taken. But I agree with the opinion.”
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