Before putting students to test on the basis of learning outcomes, the Centre is making sure that at least schools that are affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have adequate supply of books, well in time.
While in the beginning of the year, situation was completely different as Centre had failed to release funds under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan to several states, the situation has changed now as learning outcomes have to be tested.
Each year, students in government schools face problems in getting school books on time. Many of them get books by July instead of April, while the school session begins in April. However, this year all the schools that are affiliated to CBSE have received National Council of Education and Research Training (NCERT) books.
Further, government is also making arrangements for strengthening the mechanism for supply of NCERT books.
Government officials have been cautious this year as they do not want an adverse result for learning outcomes, which are being introduced from this year. The Right to Education Act has been amended recently to including learning outcomes, based on which students learning and understanding will be tested.
Agreeing that supply of books is a problem, a senior official said, “We understand that there are issues with supply of books for school children. Many of them get books by July, however this year we have made sure that at least the CBSE schools get books on time.”
“Further, we are also strengthening the mechanism to ensure that books are printed well on time. We are going to start preparation for next year from this year itself. This way, we will have more time for getting adequate supply,” he added.
A three-day conference has also been organised by the ministry wherein NCERT and State Council Education Research Training (SCERT) from various states are sharing best practices on developing the curriculum and how they maintain supply of books. For example, the SCERT in Tamil Nadu distributes books online and keeps a track of the demand and supply chain through an organised portal.