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School boards smart from syllabi whip

Guwahati, July 16: Education councils of the Northeast are miffed with the National Council for Education and Research and Training (NCERT) for bypassing them while revising syllabi.

Secretaries and chairpersons of the boards of secondary education and higher secondary councils of the northeastern states have decided to move the Union human resource development ministry for a review of an NCERT directive dated May 22.

Under this order, SCERTs ' the state units of the NCERT ' have been asked to revise the syllabi and curricula. The trigger for discontent was the perception that this was tantamount to bypassing the state boards and councils.

Traditionally, the SCERT prepares the syllabi and curricula for classes I to VII, the secondary education board from VIII to X and the higher secondary council from XI to XII. A source said the resolution was adopted at a meeting of the Council of Boards of School Education of India, North East Zone, at the office of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, here on Tuesday. Representatives of the member states ' Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Meghalaya ' participated in the meeting.

The source said the meeting expressed “grave concern” over the clear violation of the statutory role and functions of the BSEs and HS Councils to supervise, regulate and develop school education in their respective states.

The meeting decided to constitute a committee with Neeni Meru, chairman of the Nagaland School Education Board and vice-chairperson of the regional council, as convener to apprise the Union education secretary about the import of the NCERT’s directive and seek his intervention.

The delegation will leave for the capital as and when an appointment is fixed, the source said.

He said the participants observed that the NCERT wanted to reduce the state boards to mere examination committees. “If that is the motive, then it would be prudent for the government to dissolve these bodies. We really don’t understand what they are up to. After all, we had said that we will prepare the syllabus maintaining our (state-wise) uniqueness but guided by the national framework,” he quoted one of the member chairpersons as saying.

Officials of neither the NCERT nor the SCERTs were “officially” available for comment. But one of them privately said they were simply carrying out instructions. He said the NCERT had given each of its state units Rs 10 lakh to start work in accordance with the National Curriculum Framework, 2005, headed by Prof. Yashpal.

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