Print Edition - 2015-02-15 | Nation
Textbooks fail to reach students
Feb 14, 2015-Despite directives from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), students in six mountain districts have been deprived of timely textbooks even this year.
Janak Siksha Samagri Kendra (JSSK) and private publishers have not yet supplied over 50 percent of the needed textbooks in Dolpa, Jumla, Humla, Kalikot, Manang and Mustang where new academic session kicked off on Friday. The academic session in other 69 districts commences in mid-April.
According to the Department of Education, around one million units of textbooks are required for 131,532 students in the six districts. Starting this academic session, the private publishers are authorised to supply books for students in grades one to five and JSSK for grades six to 10.
According to Chhetra Bhandari, district education officer in Jumla, the JSSK has delivered just 60 percent of the total required books and private publishers have supplied even less. Of 38,000 sets of textbooks required in the district, just around 20,000 sets have reached the district headquarters. “It will take at least a week to supply them in all schools,” Bhandari said, adding that the scenario is no different in other three districts in Karnali.
The situation is even worse in Manang and Mustang where private publishers have supplied just around 10 percent of the required textbooks. “No textbooks have been supplied for grade two to five,” said Keshari Raman Neupane, district education officer in Mustang. He said schools are not in a position to run classes before February 22 due to the shortage of textbooks.
Neupane said private publishers are unwilling to supply textbook as transportation cost is very high in the districts. Uday Narshing Shrestha, chairman of the Federation of Printers’ Association Nepal, however, claimed the private publishers have supplied the required numbers of textbooks in the respective districts. “If there is shortage, we will immediately dispatch [books] there,” Shrestha said.
Anil Kumar Jha, managing director at the JSSK, claimed they are ready to supply the needed textbooks once those in stock get sold. “They sell hardly of few thousands though it textbooks reached in godown in four districts of Karnali a week ago,” he said, adding the JSSK has abundant stock in Nepalgunj which can be supplied to the entire region within two days.
Earlier, both CIAA and PMO had warned of action against private publishers and JSSK if students do not get textbooks on the very first day of the new academic session.
The government has released Rs 1.82 billion for free delivery of textbooks for around 6 million students enrolled in public schools across the country.
Published: 15-02-2015 09:17