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Community schools face textbook shortage

Kathmandu, April 21, 2016: Although the new academic session began from the second of Baisakh this year, not only the community schools in rural areas but also those in the Kathmandu Valley are facing shortage of textbooks.

Asha Devi Maharjan, principal, Lalitpur-based Harisiddhi Higher Secondary School, today said they have yet to receive textbooks for all grades.

“Although textbooks for grades I to V are easily available those for grades VI, VII, VIII, IX and X are not in sufficient quantity,” she said.

Dil Kumar Maharjan, a teacher at HHSS, said they were frequenting books shops to check availability of textbooks almost every day.

“We have started using English as a medium of instruction in community schools, but textbooks printed in English language are unavailable in the market,” he said, adding, “We have already distributed 75 per cent textbooks to students while 25 per cent textbooks have yet to arrive from the Janak Education Materials Center.”

Hem Chandra Mahato, principal, Kathmandu-based Durbar High School, stated that although textbooks for lower grades were available, those for higher grades were not found in the book shops. “Our school opened from today but teaching-learning activities have been affected due to lack of textbooks,” he added.

Ram Hada, principal, Bhaktapur-based Shree Padma Higher Secondary School said there was a shortage of textbooks for higher grades.

“Textbooks of economics for Grade IX and X and Nepali and English for Grade VIII are not available in the market,” he added.

Ministry of Education had permitted private printing firms to print textbooks from Grade I to V, while the JEMC had been assigned to print textbooks from Grade VI to X.

Devi Ram Aryal, deputy director, Educational Materials Section at the Department of Education, today said JEMC was yet to print around 3 million units of textbooks.

“JEMC was asked to give priority to rural and remote areas while distributing textbooks. Hence, the shortage of textbooks in the Kathmandu Valley,” he said.

He also informed that the Curriculum Development Centre had sent a camera-ready copy of textbooks in English language to the education ministry for approval.

JEMC was assigned to print a total of 17,753,218 units of textbooks from Grade VI to X this year.

Anil Jha, general manager, JEMC, said they had started printing textbooks, which were in short supply.

He claimed that JEMC had already delivered 70 per cent of textbooks and that the remaining textbooks would be delivered to students by Baishak 15 (April 27).