The Madras High Court has said the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) should have a mechanism to verify whether schools affiliated to it were following the NCERT syllabus. Justice N Kirubakaran made the observations in a recent interim order directing the Centre to inform the court when it would allocate more funds and man power to the CBSE to have effective control over the affiliated schools. The order was given on a petition by advocate M Purushothaman seeking a direction to the CBSE to ensure that the schools used only the syllabus and books prescribed by the National Council Of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Recording a submission by the counsel for the CBSE that already a circular was sent to the schools to follow only the NCERT syllabus, the judge said: “It is not enough to issue circular by CBSE…” The CBSE should have a mechanism to make inspections and verify whether schools followed its circular in letter and spirit, he said.
The petitioner claimed while the NCERT syllabus prescribed the study of mother tongue, English and maths for first standard students, in reality the children were being forced to study up to eight subjects. Such violations were there in other classes also, he added. He further argued that the NCERT published books were cheaper than those printed by the private publishers. The court was also informed there was not enough funds available with the CBSE and only 1,185 staff were working for it throughout the country. Hence it may not be possible for the board to have effective control over the schools.
The Judge directed the counsel for the Centre to get instructions as to when the government would allocate more funds to the CBSE in this regard and posted the matter to March 27 for further hearing.