THE Gujarat education department recently released its own question banks for Science streams based on Gujarat state board curriculum for Class IX till XII students. On the other hand, the department is all set to replicate the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks in more schools, adding to the existing list of 57 schools where the pilot project was launched in September 2016. The decision was deliberated upon by government school teachers, principals and educationists who submitted their will for its replication in the presence of Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Minister of State for Education Nanubhai Vanani during the introspection seminar in Gandhinagar last Saturday.
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Majority of the participants gave in their consent when asked how many agreed that NCERT textbooks should be introduced in Gujarat government schools. However, the department does not deny the fact that training of teachers will be an issue in its replication, it plans to go ahead with this move.
“The initial reports from the schools where NCERT books have been introduced is positive. Though the committee will submit its report at the end of this academic session, the final decision on number of schools and districts to be added into this project is to be decided after consultation with the state government,” said education secretary Sunaina Tomar.
The project is being monitored by a committee of Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) members constituted by the department that has also expressed a positive feedback from the stakeholders.
The NCERT textbooks are introduced for three subjects — English, Mathematics and Science — in Class IX in 57 grant-in-aid and self-financed English-medium schools affiliated to the state education board. “The feedback was taken in December from nearly 6,500 Class IX students of these 57 schools-granted (21) and non-granted (36) schools in 11 districts along with their parents and teachers. It majorly expresses a nod to its replication in more schools,” said GSHSEB secretary R I Patel heading the committee.
The reason cited by senior education officials for the NCERT textbooks over Gujarat state education board was taken after due consideration taking in view the national entrance examinations for engineering and medical institutes where the success rate of Gujarat students is not very encouraging.
Also, there were repeated requests from student and parent associations to the state government to bring in a change in the state board curriculum adapting it on the NCERT lines. Hoping to bring in a change in this by providing students with NCERT books giving them a national perspective to compete with their counterparts in national entrance examinations.
Among the sample of 57 schools, nearly 80 per cent of these are in urban areas. Among districts, the highest selected are in Ahmedabad where 23 schools are a part of this project. Surat has 18 schools, Gandhinagar 1, Vadodara 4 granted schools, Mehsana 3, Surendranagar 2, Aravalli, Kheda, Panchmahal, Anand and Banaskantha one in each district.