CHENNAI: There has been widespread confusion and panic among parents, teachers and students on whether NCERT-printed texbooks are mandatory following a CBSE circular on February 14.
Clearing the air, Ajeeth Prasad Jain, a senior principal and member of the CBSE governing body, and the Publisher’s Association, issued a joint statement clarifying that NCERT printed books were not compulsory and that the CBSE circular had been misinterpreted. They also clarified that NCERT books printed by private publishers could also be used.
Upon reading the circular, many parents and teachers misinterpreted the information thinking that the books had been made mandatory.
“We thought it was compulsory,” said a parent who added “The books are very difficult to get and at times are not available.”
The unavailability of NCERT books set off alarm bells as books published by private publishers were easier to come by. “After reading the circular we interpreted that the books are compulsory,” said a teacher from a reputed CBSE school. He added, “It got us thinking as the books are very difficult to get. Books published by private publishers are much easier to get.” In class 9, 10, 11 and 12 it was a must to follow the NCERT books.
Jain said the CBSE circular was purely advisory. “Nowhere in the circular was the word, ‘compulsory’ mentioned. Since schools have to run from pillar to post to get the NCERT books delivered, CBSE has given the online link for the smooth purchase of books,” he explained.
A joint statement of the Publishers’ Association said the CBSE offered schools another facility to indent their requirement for NCERT books online, in addition to their printed forms.
It further said, “The circular was issued to get the requirement of NCERT text books for the academic year 2017-18. Online requests would be treated as a school’s demand for NCERT books.”