“A child can better relate to a curriculum that is more closely related to his or her life outside the school,” the Central Board of Secondary Education states in its affidavit before the Delhi High Court.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has sought the dismissal of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking uniform syllabus and curriculum in schools throughout the country.
In its affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court, the CBSE states that the call for a uniform board or syllabus across India does not take into account the local context, culture and language.
“There is a national framework with flexibility for the emphasis on local resources, culture and ethos.
“A child can better relate to a curriculum that is more closely related to his or her life outside the school. Therefore, the multiplicity of curricula and other educational resources is desirable in addition to a core common element,” the CBSE states in its affidavit.
In opposition to the petition, the CBI has submitted in the high court that ‘education’ is a subject falling in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, and a majority of schools in India are under the jurisdiction of state governments.
It is for the respective state or Union territory governments to frame syllabus, curriculum and conduct examinations for their schools, the affidavit states.
“The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) developed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as per the mandate of the National Policy on Education sets the guidelines and direction for the development of syllabi and textbooks at all the school stages.
“As a follow up to the NCF, curriculum, syllabi, text-books and other supplementary material are developed by the NCERT. State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) and State Education Boards either adopt or adapt NCERT’s model syllabi and textbooks or develop their own syllabi and textbooks based on NCF,”the CBSE affidavit reads.
The CBSE further informs the high court that as per the provisions of theRight of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the Union government has notified the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) as the academic authority for preparing the framework of national curriculum under Section 7(6) of the Act.
State governments have also notified state agencies or institutes in school education such as State Council of Education Research and Training and States Institutes of Education for the purpose of preparing a framework of appropriate curriculum under the Act, the affidavit reads.
In his petition, Upadhyay argues that education mafias are very powerful and have a very strong syndicate. They influence rules, regulations, policies and examinations. He alleges that questions asked in competitive exams are not taught in government schools. So, parents are constantly struggling against many different and difficult situations.
Upadhyay claims that school mafias do not want ‘One Nation, One Education Board’, coaching mafias do not want ‘One Nation, One Syllabus’ and book mafias also do not want NCERT books in all schools.
He has thus sought direction from the high court to the Union government to implement a uniform education system (common syllabus and common curriculum in the mother language) up to 12th standard for all students in consonance with and in furtherance of constitutional goals of socialism, secularism, equality of status, equal opportunity, fraternity, unity and integrity of the nation in the spirit.