CHENNAI: The importance of NCERT books is not lost on anyone. From school going kids to the civil services aspirants, everyone looks upto these books for authentic material.
The schools affiliated to CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) have been given an advisory by the CBSE to use the National council of educational research and training (NCERT) books for all classes as it has received reports and grievances from parents that they were forced by schools to purchase an extreme number of textbooks published by others.
The Board restated that schools need not to look further than NCERT books as the material forms the base for not only board exams but competitive exams like JEE as well. Calling prescription of too many books and pressuring parents and children to buy the same is an unhealthy practice.
The regional officer-CBSE, Chennai, K Srinivasan said "we are recommending that more schools start using NCERT books for lower classes as well". He also said that it is an advisory.
Schools, on their part, said that they had a reason to go with other publications for lower classes. Ajit Prasad Jain, senior principal, Bhavan's Rajaji Vidyaashram, said with the nearest NCERT sale counter, there is approximately a wait of 6 months to procure books and it is convenient to buy books of other publications that don't stay away from the prescribed CBSE syllabus. NCERT books are content -wise best, their non-availability is a big problem.
A teacher said that going for private publication books helps them to cover more modules, while NCERT books do provide a sole foundation of the syllabus.
She also said, "We make sure that we hand-pick the book to not only cover the NCERT syllabus, but also helps us walk extra mile in helping children develop an in-depth knowledge of subjects with more modules. We recommend only single book in each subject such that there is not much pressure on parents as far as expenses are concerned.
The CBSE said to the parents and students that NCERT books are available online for free download on www.epaathshala.nic.in and www.cbse.nic.in .
Presently, the rule is that schools need to use only NCERT books for classes 9 to 12, other publications would be used for up to class 8.