Schools these days do everything in their ability to churn out students who excel in board and other entrance examinations. Students in Class IX, get fed portions of the syllabus of Class X; students in class VII, get taught parts of the syllabus from class IX.
This can't possibly help students too much who might be too young to understand and grasp concepts from higher classes. This mechanism enables the school to free up time from the higher class and thus when the students reach (class X, from class IX for instance), they get more time to revise and practice through the class X syllabus and sample examination papers and mock tests.
Either the children will learn by rote, or they will have to take additional tuition to cope thereby just adding tremendous additional pressure on the young minds.
So, what is it that the schools are supposed to provide to students? Education and a foundation for life, or a bunch of skill sets to just do well in examinations, and entrance tests. Perhaps it is the bane of the time (and country) that we live in which forces a student (and anyone else) to compete to be able to survive. If the student does not do well in the board examinations, admission to good higher education institutions gets terribly restricted. If that happens, then the chances of making it big, using education as the base, also (perceived to, at least) gets restricted.Which implies that the schools need to prepare the students for examinations and go as far as possible to ensure that their students do well. Otherwise, their admission rates would drop! Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
Read relevant news report.
NCERT most likely is the largest provider of text books in the country. All CBSE government schools use their books, and all private /unaided schools use their books. Each year, at the beginning of the academic session, there is a perpetual shortage of NCERT books. Each distributor that we have met so far has been moaning about the pain they have to go through to procure NCERT books. Every school we talked to this time including Vasant Valley, and Genesis Global has shown concern mentioning that their time tested distributors and publishers are unable to get NCERT books on time. And this is in Delhi. In Bangalore, its the usual every year story too.The situation as we understand, is the same in West Bengal, Orissa or any other state in the country.
The shortage gets reported in the newspapers every year (2004 report, 2007 report)without fail and 2010 was no exception. Distributors complained that they receive the books in installments and the first installment never more than 10-15% of their total requirement. The books are cheap (thankfully), but late. For distributors who cater to Indian schools outside the country (middle east, Africa for example), they need to airfreight the books thus adding to their operation cost, on top of low margins. Even with the multiple installments, the distributors do not manage to get more than about 80-85% of their total requirement. This obviously impacts the syllabus completion in schools adversely.
There must be hundreds of distributors who pick the books from NCERT. Given that, and there is a perpetual shortfall of 20-15%, it surely can't possibly be that difficult for NCERT to print more and early. If the government is unable to provide books, how will the forcible admission of extra students through RTE work well? Just that this gives rise to a different industry. Distributors mention that fake (or photocopied) versions of the books invade the market every year to make up the shortfall.