The Federation of Nepal Printers Association today appealed to the government to award textbook printing contracts to private firms through free competition and guarantee security of private investment in the printing sector.
Madhav KC, general secretary, FNPA, today said the education minister last month had taken a decision to restrict private printing houses from printing school textbooks last month. “The decision has been taken to sideline private printing houses and give continuity to the monopoly enjoyed by government-owned Janak Education Materials Centre and Sajha Prakashan, both of which have failed to meet textbook printing targets over the years.”
He stated allowing only the JEMC and Sajha Prakashan to print school textbooks would create textbook shortage, which would eventually affect students across the country.
Earlier, the government had allowed private printing houses to print school textbooks from grade VI to X. But last month, education minister Chitra Lekha Yadav took a decision to bar private printing houses ignoring the community school textbook printing and distribution regulations.
KC further said the decision was part of conspiracy to get school textbooks printed in India for hefty commissions. “This is all part of conspiracy to create textbook shortage so that they can be printed in India for hefty commissions,” he added.
Private printing houses had been allowed to print 18.6 million units of textbooks from grade I to V, while the JEMC had been set the target of printing 20 million units of textbooks from grade VI to X. “The JEMC has not even been able to meet the target of 20 million textbooks. How can we expect it to print 20 million textbooks?” he questioned.