NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked the states to ensure that no child should be asked to carry books other than those by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and its state counterparts in schools across India.
The Commission, in letters sent to the state governments, has reiterated that section 29 of the Right to Education Act insists on uniformity in syllabus till class VIII and hence students should not be made to buy textbooks by private publishers — a practice followed by many private schools.
In letters written to the education secretaries of the states, the apex child rights body has said if a school is found to follow or prescribe curriculum and evaluation procedure in elementary classes other than the ones prescribed by the academic authority, it should be treated as violation of the RTE. “No child shall be discriminated and/or harassed and/or neglected by the school for carrying books published/prescribed by the academic authority (NCERT/SCERT) causing ‘mental or physical suffering’. Any action taken against the child and hence, may attract the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015,” the Commission has written.
The NCPCR has also said the schools be directed to display the directions on schools’ website and notice board. NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said the need to re-issue the guidelines was felt in view of a large number of complaints that parents are arm-twisted into buying books by private publishers.