KATHMANDU, Dec 23: Following reports about the government´s unpreparedness to provide adequate school textbooks for the new academic session that begins in mid April, the Department of Education (DoE) has given a 15-day deadline to Janak Education Material Center (JEMC) to start printing at least 125,000 books on a daily basis.
A meeting of DoE officials held on Friday also decided to seek an alternative to JEMC, the sole authority responsible for printing textbooks for central, mid-western and far-western development regions, if it fails to start printing textbooks in full capacity by January 5, according to Director General at DoE Lava Dev Awasthi.
“To guarantee textbooks to 6.1 million students expected to enroll in schools next session would be a challenge as the JEMC press was found printing only 24,000 books on a daily basis,” said Awasti adding, “If JEMC fails to meet the deadline, DoE invite the private sector for printing textbooks.”
The DoE has taken this decision following the immense pressure from donor agencies to fulfill five most Prioritized Minimum Enabling Conditions (PMEC). The PMEC under School Sector Reform Program makes it mandatory for the government to ensure students´ access to textbooks by second week of the new session, child-friendly toilet, drinking water and adequate physical infrastructures, among others.
According to DoE flash report 2012, only 54 percent students have received textbooks within the second week of the new session whereas the students of far-west districts such as Humla, Manang, Mustang, Dolpa and Rolpa had not received textbooks even by during their final exams last year.
As per the government´s estimates, JEMC has to print 19.5 million sets of textbooks for grade one to 10 for the new session. But JEMC has so far printed only 8.2 million sets of textbooks.
|Source: Republica Daily|
Published on 2012-12-24 04:02:09