Lucknow, July 3: Confusion prevails in madrassas in Uttar Pradesh over the distribution of free National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) text books even as the academic session has begun from April.
Every year, over 560 government-aided madrassas were provided free books from class first to eight under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, a government scheme. However, a decision was taken by the state government in May this year that NCERT books would be introduced in madarassas. Madrassa functionaries complain that even as the academic session is underway, free NCERT books are yet to arrive.
"Most of the Basic Shiksha Adhikaris (BSA), who look after primary education in districts have not got NCERT books for free distribution. Earlier, books of Basic Shiksha Parishad were given to students. Now as NCERT books have been introduced, confusion prevails whether the basic education department will provide free books or not," General Secretary, Teachers Association Madaris Arabia, Diwan Sahab Zaman told PTI.
The decision to introduce NCERT books should have been taken after consulting everyone, but this was not done, Zaman claimed. If there were consultations, the problems would not have been arisen, he said. The Uttar Pradesh cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had in May approved the introduction of NCERT books for the Madrassa Board.
"NCERT books in Urdu, Hindi and English languages will be introduced to give students a better training and enhanced skill set in madrassas," an official spokesperson had said after the decision.
When asked, Director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Vedpati Mishra said, "No directive has been received in this regard (free books) from Centre. On June 14 a meeting of project approval board of the Human Resource Development ministry was held. After getting minutes of the meeting, it will be finalised whether madrassas will be given free NCERT books or not."
Registrar of the Madrassa Shiksha Board, Rahul Gupta said, "560 aided madrasas are being provided free books and rest have to purchase it. I have talked to NCERT officials and written a letter to them informing tentative number of books needed so that it will be easy to publish books and ensure their availability."
As far as free distribution of NCERT books to madrassas under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan is concerned, Basic Education department knows better, Gupta said. Zaman said he recently sought to know from the Registrar, Madrassa Board about distribution of books, but did not get any reply.
"The session has started. Majority of students in madrassas are from below poverty line families. How can they purchase books and how will they study," he asked. He said next week a meeting of all the principals of madrassas will be held in which the matter will be discussed.