Suggestions “Ban on selling textbooks or other items within the school premises is not the solution, its ultimate solution is to opt common curriculum for all schools whether private or government” .Every year with the commencement of new academic secession, there is always a tussle between the parents and the private school managements over different issues like demanding hefty charges in the name of admission fees. Imposing self-created charges, forcing parents to buy books uniforms, and other stationery items at a particular shop or within the school, etc. Regarding the recent controversy of the selling of textbooks by the private schools, the director of school education issued general order in which he categorically banned such practices within the school premises. To counter this situation, most of the private Schools established the sailing counters outside the school and are indulging in this business behind the curtain. This became an unending problem that has been aggravating with each passing year. I think the ban on selling textbooks or other items within the school premises is not the solution, its ultimate solution is to opt common curriculum for all schools whether private or government. This common academic content not only brings uniformity in the education system which is presently fragmented into sections but it will also ensure inclusiveness in the education system that is one of the main recommendations of NEP-2020. Besides this, it will have many other advantages like:
Advantages of online or tele classes: When the entire education process switched from physical classes to virtual mode because of the situation created by COVID- 19, both the private and government schools utilized their available resources likethe internet, radio, TV to compensate for the academic loss. These classes benefited the student community to a great extend but it would have more fruitful results if we adopt the common textbooks. A student of any institutional background can take the benefits of online classes from anywhere without the waste of time.
Choice of Switching or Selection of School: sometimes a situation arises when a student has to switch off his/her school because of personal or other reasons. He/she should be given liberty to carry forward his/her teaching activities to any other school as per his/her choice and convenience without changing the textbooks. It saves his/her precious time and money. Adopting the common textbooks for all is not at all impossible, there is a proper mechanism in place in the education department. There are various institutions like The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the State Institutions of Education and Training SIET, District Institute for Education and Training (DIET). It needs only sincerity, commitment from the concerned authorities. While adopting this procedure, the following processes must be taken into consideration like textbooks must be available and accessible to all. Secondly, the material used for books should be of good standard thirdly there must be the timely revision of syllabi, and fourth which is the most important one is that the local history must be given due space. Similarly, we can adopt the same method related to school uniform. Let school uniform be the same in all schools at least on the zonal level. Let common sense will prevail.
(The author is a teacher by profession. Views are his own)