In an attempt to reduce the burden of buying the text books at high prices, the books by NCERT will be made available to the students of all public and private schools.
“So far our information goes CBSE has 20,000 schools and 13 crore books are consumed (used) by students. But while the maximum price of a NCERT book is Rs 50, that of a non-NCERT book goes upto Rs 300,” he said, on the sidelines of a ASSOCHAM program on education in Kolkata.
It is estimated that all the students from 20000 CBSE affiliated spent nearly about 650 crore on buying the books published by the NCERT whereas in order to buy the non-NCERT books they end up spending 3900 crore, he said. The difference by no means is minute and cannot be ignored.
“This is not a small margin. I am worried about the financial burden on the school children – there is no qualitative comparison.”
When suggested the non-NCERT books are of better quality he said, " 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 other institutions".
When asked about the time frame in which NCERT textbooks will be made available to the children, Swarup said that in the 1st week of August orders would be sought from public and private schools on the NCERT website. This will help in making the advance preparations and putting the entire supply chain in place.
We are also working towards reducing the weight of heavy school bags of the children, said Swarup.