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Shortage of 7.4 million sets of textbooks in new session

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, April 17

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While the new academic year began on Monday, the government has failed to supply 7.4 million sets of textbooks despite its previous claims to ensure new textbooks free of cost to students at the beginning of new session.

Though Janak Education Material Center (JEMC), the government agency that responsible for printing textbooks in Central, Mid Western and Far Western region, was assigned to print 24.4 million textbooks for this academic year, it has supplied only 9.4 million books to its distributing agency Sajha Prakashan till Tuesday.

However, the center claims that only 22 million sets of text book would require for an estimated 6.1 million students from grade one to 10 this year. JEMC Director Anil Kumar Jha said seven million sets of books are in reserve with the office that is yet to be sold to Sajha for distribution. Of the total textbooks in stock, 1.1 million are the ones from previous academic year.

The Department of Education (DoE) has given JEMC an ultimatum to submit a report clarifying the delay in printing adequate textbooks.

“JEMC has also been instructed to come up with a plan to produce and distribute textbooks with ways to minimize the crisis in a short time,” said Rakesh Shrestha, chief of the Educational Material Management Division of the DOE.

He added that the meeting held between the officials from JEMC, guardians and representatives of Sajha publication on Monday came to a conclusion that the Sajha agents would also be pressurized to carry the books to districts from their regional depots by Thursday.

Meanwhile, Sajha has also ordered its agents to carry the books to their respective districts from the regional depots. The Sajha´s Marketing Manager Kedar Khatiwada claimed that the authority has warned the agent of canceling their license if the books were not transported by Thursday.

However, JEMC chief has said that the crisis of paper at the center caused the delay. “We could have comfortably met the target this year had the paper crisis had not occurred,” claimed JEMC DG Jha, speaking at a program organized by Education Journalists´ Network on Tuesday. JEMC in February ran out of paper when bidding for supplier proved to be a failure.

“It took nearly one and half months to resolve the crisis, leaving us 40 days behind the schedule,” Jha said.

He also urged the DoE to grant one month time to meet the demand. JEMC has a debt of Rs 1.3 billion, and its loss for the last six years has increased to Rs 630 million.

The guardians have condemned the government´s failure to ensure new text books terming it a violation of the student´s fundamental rights to receive new textbooks free of cost.

Source: Republica Daily

Link: http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=53270

Published on 2013-04-17 03:02:41
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About nirjanasharma

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