AMID THE ongoing debate on whether the curriculum jointly framed by the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) and Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB) or the one by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) works well for students in Gujarat, the state education department has approved to add another 55 grant-in-aid and self-financed schools for the ongoing pilot for a better assessment.
Among the list of English-medium schools, CL India Hindi-medium school is the first and the only Hindi-medium school to be tested for NCERT books this year. In the previous academic session, the pilot project took place in 57 English-medium schools, covering nearly 6,500 Class IX students, studying English, Mathematics and Science.
While the project is to be continued for the same subjects in Class X as these 6,500 students have been promoted from Class IX, another 3,901 students of Class IX from additional 55 schools will be added this year. There will be no change in the selection of subjects-English, Mathematics and Science. Also, the 57 schools where it took off in Class IX in the first year will continue.
Nitin Pethani, chairman of Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB) said: “The pilot project will continue for the students who were a part of it and have been promoted to Class X now. In addition, more schools will be added to this.”
The 54 English medium and one Hindi medium school have been shortlisted from 14 districts of Ahmedabad, Amreli, Kheda, Gandhinagar, Banaskantha, Junagadh, Valsad, Mehsana, Anand, Vadodara, Patan, Surendranagar, Morbi and Devbhoomi Dwarka besides schools from Ahmedabad city areas.
Admitting that students pursuing NCERT curriculum can compete better at the national level in comparison to the state board, Narendra R Jha, principal of CL High School said, “This is the reason we approached the education department to include our school as well. Over the years, we have realised that the state board is not well equipped when it comes to competing at the national level and thus, students are shifting towards NCERT.”
The school running for more than five decades under the state board has 600 students in 10 sections of Class IX. However, as it is not mandatory for all 600 students to study NCERT textbooks, parents and students have been given an option to choose among the two boards. “As admissions are still open, we are hoping this shift will be implemented in three sections,” added Jha.
After its first evaluation in December followed by a second at the end of academic session in March 2017, the state board claimed to have received a positive feedback, paving the way for the curriculum to be expanded to more schools. Among the sample selected previous year, nearly 80 per cent of schools are in urban areas.