Only NCERT books from Grade I to XII in CBSE, ICSE, IB, State Board Schools

Education Ministry to introduce NCERT textbooks in all schools from academic year 2024-25

VIKAS SHARMA

JAMMU : In what could be a huge sigh of relief for all the parents of children especially those whose children are studying in private schools and are purchasing the textbooks from the stationary shops at a very high cost, the Ministry of Education is likely to introduce the updated National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks in all schools from Grade I to XII from the academic year 2024-25.

This is in keeping with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and National Curriculum Framework (NCF) released in August 2022. Whether the school is affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) schools, International Baccalaureate (IB) or State Board, only the updated NCERT textbooks will be allowed.   Of the 14.8 lakh schools in India, there are only 28,000 CBSE schools, nearly 2,000 ICSE schools, and 345 IB schools. The rest are State Board Schools.

As per data available, of total 28,805 schools in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, 23173 schools are government, 1 government aided school, 5526 private unaided schools and 105 other schools. The total enrollment of children enrolled in schools from Grade I to XII is 2323395.

Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan had recently convened the National Steering Committee meeting to streamline the next steps under the NCF agenda.  Currently, the government has released NCF for pre-school to Class 2, for children aged between three and eight years.  NCERT textbooks will be available in at least 22 languages, mentioned in the eighth schedule of the Constitution. These include Hindi, English, Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Sindhi, Manipuri, Urdu, Malayalam, Odia, and Kashmiri, among others.

School Education experts have welcomed this much needed initiative by the Education Ministry. “This indeed is the need of the hour to stop the ongoing huge profiteering by the book sellers in collaboration with the private school managements. There is absolutely monopoly by the stationary shops selling the textbooks of all grades at very high cost.

It is almost impossible for a common man to get his/her ward admitted in a private school and if admission is taken, then there is an additional financial burden of purchasing textbooks and uniforms from particular shops where the private schools have their commissions already fixed”, the experts said.

The Ministry of Education also said the private publishers have claimed that their Class 1 and 2 textbooks are aligned to NCF 2022. However, NCERT is reviewing material published by private publishers.

“While teaching students, one needs to refer to NCERT textbooks as a base. The curriculum can be built and modified over this. Through NCF, the Ministry of Education aims to help students develop their cognitive and critical thinking skills, which involve problem-solving in real-life situations.

It also speaks about developing the social and emotional capacities of the child. There is an emphasis on vocational education so students can develop an entrepreneurial mindset or be gainfully employed in the future”, the experts added.