Govt asks JSSK, Sajha for detailed plan

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Govt asks JSSK, Sajha for detailed plan

Jan 28, 2015-

The government on Wednesday directed Janak Sikhya Samagri Kendra (JSSK) and Sajha Prakashan to come up with detailed plans for timely publication and delivery of the textbooks for the new academic session, beginning in April.

The meeting of the Central Textbook Monitoring Committee led by Chief Secretary Leela Mani Poudyal directed the two state-owned publishers to furnish in two days their plans about the stocks and number of textbooks they can produce in the next two and half months. The directive was issued following the sluggish progress in the textbooks publication. The government has assigned the JSSK with the task to prepare around 19 million units of textbooks for grades 6 to 10, with the private firms ordered to publish the same volume of the textbooks for grades 1 to 5. The new academic session in seven mountain districts—five in Karnali, one each in Manang and Mustang—begins in mid-February, two months earlier than the rest of the country.

During the meeting, Poudyal also warned the office bearers from both the publication houses of actions if they fail to meet the target in the stipulated time. “The government is ready for extend any kind of support, from arranging printing papers to releasing the required budget on time,” Suprabhat Bhandari, a committee member, quoted Chief Secretary Poudyal as saying.

“But the repetition of the perennial problem this year will not be tolerable.”

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting also decided to form a central coordinating committee under a joint secretary at the Education Ministry to ensure smooth distribution of the textbooks.

JSSK Executive Manager Anil Jha, who attended the meeting, assured that the textbooks will be delivered in seven mountain districts from Friday, claiming that there is adequate stock to meet the region’s need. The government is even contemplating to award textbook printing contracts to the private firms should the JSSK and Sajha fail to meet the demands ahead of the new academic session.

The JSSK has readied around 11 million units of the books, including those in the stock from last year, while more than 8 million units remain to be printed. The Education Ministry has earmarked Rs 1.86 billion to fund free distribution of textbooks to about 5.99 million pupils of grades 1 to 10 in around 29,000 public schools. The government, under pressure from donor agencies, has cut on the share of books the JSSK produces given its repeated failures to make the books available on time.

Published: 29-01-2015 08:48

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