To ensure that the students get their textbooks at reasonable prices as well as to keep a check on the publication of objectionable content, the J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE) has directed all the schools, especially the private ones to prescribe the textbooks published by it from class 6-8 under the first phase.
As per officials, all the stakeholders have been informed that as per Board Act it is the mandate of JKBOSE to prescribe the courses of instructions, prepare curricula and also prescribe textbooks for the Primary, Elementary, Secondary and Higher Secondary Schools.
Similarly, they said, it is mandatory for all the schools, Government as well as Private-to implement and prescribe the textbooks published by JKBOSE for all the classes, which, as per them, is not happening on the ground.
As per a notification that has already been issued for the information of the schools, the Board authorities have stated that it has been observed that many private schools do not prescribe the textbooks published by JKBOSE, especially for Elementary and Middle classes.
Instead, officials said, these Private Schools are prescribing textbooks from some private publishers which are sold to the students at exorbitant rates.
The Board has stated that the practice of prescribing textbooks from different private publishers by different Private Schools results in non-uniformity in the curriculum being taught in schools across the UT of J&K which is a highly undesirable situation.
The officials have also mentioned a recent controversy that was stoked due to the publication of controversial content in the textbooks. The Board authorities said that the issue has been viewed seriously by the Government which was caused due to the publication of unchecked content by the private publishers, calling for gatekeeping concerning the content which is published in the textbooks.
In this regard, officials said that all the schools have been directed to ensure that in the first phase, the textbooks published by JKBOSE are implemented/ prescribed by all the Private Schools across UT of J&K failing which strict action will be taken against the violators.
For the phase first, it will be implemented for classes 6th to 8th from the ensuing academic session, failing which necessary action as warranted under rules shall be initiated against the defaulters,” officials said.’
It is to be noted here that prescribing textbooks published by JKBOSE, which come with a proper check on the content, has been a long pending demand of parents, however, the same gained momentum after the publication of inappropriate content earlier in December last year.
As a part of the action then, the JKBOSE also directed the schools to withdraw the book carrying blasphemous content while the fresh directions that have been issued are being seen in that context underlining the measures which the Board is taking to bring in uniformity in the textbooks taught in schools across J&K.