Jharkhand students caught in Catch-22 situation over NCERT books


Ranchi : Students in Jharkhand are facing an acute academic crisis.

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Despite getting the copyright to publish NCERT books two years back, the state government has till now been unable to print the required number of books prescribed in the syllabus.

The crisis has been continuing for four years now since the Jharkhand government decided to switch over to the NCERT syllabus to improve the level of the education in the state.

The sudden switchover led to an acute shortage of NCERT books.

There are nearly 35,000 primary, middle and high schools in the state. “We get barely 30 to 40 percent of the total demand for NCERT books. Many parents try to offer us extra money but we find ourselves helpless,” said Asok Kumar, a book dealer.

“My daughter failed in two subjects as I managed to get the NCERT books in December and the exam took place in February,” said Priya Jha, mother of a class XI student.

Another parent, Md Irfan, whose daughter is a student of class VIII said: “My daughter barely managed to get through the exam due to non-availability of books.

Though the state government got the NCERT copyright two years back, it took one year to float the tender and finalise the parties who would publish the books on their behalf.

By the time everything was finalised and the books were about to come out, the NCERT syllabus for classes 1, 3 and 6 was changed from the current academic year.

Now the state government is in a fix once more.

“We have to again approach the NCERT to get the copyright of the changed syllabus for these classes. It will take time to get the copyright, after which we will float a tender and finalise the parties. Then the books will be printed. It will roughly take two years,” a senior official of the Human Resources Development (HRD) department told IANS.

The worst sufferers are scheduled tribe (ST) and scheduled caste (SC) students. As the Jharkhand government provides books free of cost to these students, they have to depend solely on the government for their books.