NEW DELHI: India’s largest private education board, the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), is under fire for allegedly violating the Right to Education Act, 2009, by adopting syllabi different from that of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for Classes I to VIII.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has sought an explanation from the CISCE, as part of its exercise to “pursue violation of Section 29 of the RTE Act by private unaided schools affiliated to different boards by prescribing different curriculum, including evaluation procedure and books other than those laid down by the NCERT.”
In response, the CISCE said its curricula for pre-school to Class VIII were developed by a team of “experts” comprising personnel from the NCERT.
This irked the NCPCR, which has now slapped a notice on the NCERT for helping design separate syllabi for CISCE, which is known for its rigorous arts and language courses.
Section 29 of the RTE Act says: “The curriculum and the evaluation procedure for elementary education shall be laid down by an academic authority to be specified by the appropriate Government, by notification.” The NCERT is the only such authority. By developing the independent curricula, the CISCE allegedly violated the RTE norm.
“The NCERT syllabus is followed across CBSE schools and it is indigestible that the NCERT itself would help form a different curriculum for a national educational board in the country,” an NCPCR official said.
Nearly 2,900 schools, with over 10 lakh children, are affiliated to the CISCE, which conducts the ICSE (Class X) and ISC (Class XII) board exams. About 2 lakh children appear for these exams every year.
NCERT gets 10 days to respond
“Development of a separate syllabus... is, prima facie, against the spirit of Section 29 of the Act,” NCPCR said in its notice to the NCERT, and asked it to respond in 10 days. Officials said they would, in consultation with the HRD ministry, direct the CISCE to follow NCERT curricula till Class VIII.