Srinagar- The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has dismissed a petition, challenging directions by the authorities to all the private schools in last year to ensure that in the first phase, the text books published by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education are implemented and prescribed by all of the them across J&K.
“…it is clear that the policy decisions and guidelines issued by the Board with regard to the matters relating to curriculum, syllabus and prescription of text books for the schools affiliated to the Board cannot be interfered with by the Courts,” a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar said while dismissing a petition filed J&K Private Schools United Front, a trust claiming to be working for the welfare of private educational schools and institutes.
Otherwise, the court said, the whole exercise made by various stakeholders including educationists etc. would become futile.
Elaborating, the court said, if the schools are at liberty to choose books, it would not only create chaos and confusion but there would not be uniformity in the education system throughout the Union Territory.
“The Board while issuing the notification (directions all schools to implement books by it) is right in observing that the practice of prescribing textbooks from different private publishers by different private schools results in non-uniformity in curriculum being taught and even instances of controversial content finding way in some textbooks cannot be ruled out,” the court said, adding “Therefore, the decision of the Board in prescribing the textbooks published by it for use by the schools and students cannot be interfered with by this Court.”
The court held that the Board has the power to prescribe the courses of instructions, prepare curricula and detailed syllabi and also prescribe text books for the Pre-primary, elementary, secondary school and High Secondary (School graduation) and school examinations and Elementary Teachers Training Course.
“It is true that power of the Board to prescribe courses of instructions, prepare curricula, syllabi and to prescribe text books has to be subject to broad educational policies and directions on the subject by the Government but the power of the Board to prescribe books which would include publication of text books, cannot be diluted or taken away.”
The only requirement is that these prescribed text books have to be in consonance with the Education Policy in operation as also in conformity with the National Curriculum Framework, the court said.
“The broad educational policies and the instructions of the Government from time to time on the subject guide the Board in prescription of the textbooks.”
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