Gujarat govt to introduce NCERT textbooks,state textbook board uncertain

AhmedabadOct18:The future of 47-year-old Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB) appears to be uncertain with the state government deciding to introduce the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books in its schools in a phased manner.

After deliberations at the top level, a pilot project — with the introduction of NCERT books in Class XI — was launched in September in 57 English-medium schools affiliated to the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB). Currently, the NCERT books have been introduced for English, mathematics and science subjects only.

The pilot project would be subjected to its first evaluation in December, before the annual analysis at the end of this academic session in March 2017.

In view of the government’s move, the fate of Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT), which along with GSSTB is responsible for framing curricula, also hangs fire, but it also plays arole in research and training.

The government decided to introduce NCERT books to provide uniformity in syllabi and a broader platform for students belonging to its schools who find it difficult to match their counterparts from CBSE schools in the national competitive entrance examinations for engineering and medical courses.

“This major change, once implemented across the state, will not only raise concerns over GSSTB’s existence, but also reduce the functioning area of NCERT’s state counterpart GCERT that shares the responsibility of framing curricula for Gujarat schools,” revealed a senior education department official.

GSSTB director H N Chavda said, “We are ready of any kind of change. Once NCERT books are implemented, the textbook board and GCERT would not be left with any academic work… Translation for Gujarati medium schools and re-printing of books will be the job left for these two bodies.”

Of the 57 schools where the pilot project has been launched, nearly 80 per cent falls under urban areas of the state. The 13 schools in rural areas are all in Ahmedabad, including “affluent” localities such as Thaltej, Bopal, Satellite, Ghatlodiya, Drive-in road, Jivrajpark and Maninagar.

“We are hoping to bring in a change by providing students with NCERT books and giving them a national perspective,” said deputy chairman of GSHSEB R R Thakkar.