Textbook shortage hits students

Lack of textbooks for grade eight, nine and 10 has been reported from various parts of the country three months past the start of the academic session.

A book supplier from Dhading district, Narayan Shrestha, said that around 3,000 ninth grade students do not have most of the textbooks.

He blamed Janak Education Material Center (JEMC) for the lack of books as the agency shut its district-based depot after earthquake.

“The book suppliers barely get any profit selling the textbooks. You could say they are doing a social service,” said Shrestha.

Prabhat Subedi, vice chairperson of the Association of the Book Entrepreneur, said only 20 percent of the expected textbooks have reached Birgunj.

Meanwhile, JEMC officials claimed that the center has already supplied more books than the target set by the Department of Education (DoE) for this session.

“The JEMC was asked to print 500,000 sets of books for grade eight, but we printed and supplied additional 50,000 books,” the general manager of JEMC, Anil Kumar Jha, told Republica. The JEMC is the only government body responsible for printing and delivering textbooks for grade six to 10 across the country.

The government is yet to determine the exact reason for the shortage of textbooks.

“Since all eighth graders have to appear in the district level exam, the students of private schools also demand the books in Nepali medium. This might have caused the shortage,” assumed Dilli Ram Rimal, director general at the DoE.

The DoE is yet to receive the comprehensive report on the loss of textbooks from the quake-affected districts, he added.

MoE Spokseperson Hari Lamsal said that the ministry would make an independent review of the situation in both quake-affected and other districts to find out the exact scenario regarding the shortage of textbooks.

Source: Myrepublica