Monopoly of private schools, book publishers prevails

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Apr 2018 09:28:04


 

Special Correspondent,

Raipur,

A year passed to the claim made by Anil Swarup, Secretary, School Education and Literacy, Ministry of HRD, Government of India, that the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will ensure adequate supply of books to CBSE-affiliated schools across the nation from 2018. Swarup had stated in a national level education seminar held in Raipur last year that the NCERT will take it as a challenge to put an end to the monopoly of private publishers. However, the promise made by Swarup in the seminar remained unfulfilled. 

Monopoly of private publishers prevails in Chhattisgarh and it can be gauged from the fact that CBSE-affiliated private schools are either handing over students/parents a list of books recommended by the private publishers or displaying the list in the classrooms. Swarup, who was also the Coal Secretary of the Central Government, mentioned in the seminar that, “Whereas in coal sector all the mining is under the ground and the mafias over the ground, in education it is other way round.”

As CBSE-affiliated schools reopened for academic session 2018-19 in the first week of April, private school managements recommended books of private publishers except one or two books of NCERT like Social Studies and Science of NCERT for Class VIII. While one set of NCERT book costs between Rs 250 and Rs 300, a set of books of private publishers costs between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6,000. Students of Class I to VIII are the victims of private schools’ arbitrariness.

Similarly, Class IX students are made to follow the books of both NCERT and private publishers by the schools. Unlike primary and middle schools, NCERT books are being followed in the CBSE-affiliated high schools but schools are asking their students to get books of private publishers too along with the NCERT, said a student of a private school on condition of anonymity. On the other hand, private schools are defending the use of other publications citing various reasons. Betterment of students and unavailability of NCERT books are two of the major reasons.

It is noteworthy to mention, last year, schools affiliated to CBSE were asked by the board to use only NCERT books for all the classes. This step was taken after it received reports and complaints from parents.Gaurav Dwivedi, Secretary, School Education, Government of Chhattisgarh, said that the State Government has issued standard guidelines for the schools to follow. If any school is found violating then it comes under the purview of provisions made for action. “If I come across or receive any complaint regarding the monopoly of schools or publishers I will definitely take action,” said Dwivedi.