Print Edition - 2015-04-13 | Main News
JSSK set to miss textbook deadline again
Apr 12, 2015-With the new academic session due to begin in four days, the state-owned publisher Janak Shikshya Samagri Kendra (JSSK) is set to miss the textbook deadline this year again.
Of the total 14.5 million units of textbooks required for this academic session, the country’s sole authority to publish textbooks for grades 6 to 10, has readied only 13 million units. The Department of Education (DoE) has directed all District Education Offices to start the enrolment campaign from Wednesday. The classes will begin from the third week of April.
JSSK CEO Anil Kumar Jha, however, claimed that his office is doing everything possible to meet the target. “We are dispatching the readied copies of textbooks across the country, giving priority to the rural areas,” he said, adding that the JSSK is producing 80,000 units of textbooks a day.
Even at that pace, it will take the JSSK another 18 days to meet the print target alone. And considering the transit time required to dispatch the books, it will take at least two months before the books could be distributed to the students at all the public schools across the country. The ministry has earmarked around Rs 1.62 billion to provide textbooks to around 5.99 million students from grades one to 10 in around 29,000 public schools. The JSSK’s repeated failure in meeting its printing target has prompted the government to increase the jurisdiction of private publishers.
Repeated delays and pressure from donors have already forced the government to delegate the task of printing books for grades 1 to 5 to private publishers. Should Janak Shiksha again fail to meet the deadline, the government is mulling handing over printing contracts for the remaining units to private publishers.
The DoE had initially asked it to publish 18.2 million books. It later revised the target to 14.3 million claiming that the actual sales would be just 80 pc of the government figures. The private publishers, who were ordered to print 18.5 million units of books, are said to have completed their task.
Published: 13-04-2015 08:10