Monday, March 21, 2011

Remote Nepal: Textbook shortage all time problem

Kathmandu, Mar 21 Most of students of remote villages are compelled to pass their whole academic year without getting sufficient number of textbooks.

The concern bodies stated that more than 50 per cent of the students in Karnali district have not received textbooks till now, where the academic session has already started from mid- February. Likewise, in Manang and Mustang districts and all of Karnali zone, barring Kalikot district, the academic session has started from mid-February.

Talking with The Rising Nepal, Suprabhat Bhandari, president of Guardians’ Association Nepal informed that according to a report of the district level committee of the association, fifty per cent students have not received books though the academic session has started at the district.

Bhandari, also the member of Textbooks Distribution Management Central Monitoring Committee (TDMCMC), said the government has a policy to make available the books to all students but implementation is not so strong. The problem of books will not be solved even in the last of academic session.

The Janak Education Materials Centre (JEMC) and Sajha Prakashan’s
monopoly in the publication

and distribution of textbooks should end soon, if authority wants to make free and quality education a success, he said.

If the situation remains the same, the target students may not benefit from the government decision of providing books freely for community schools students across the nation.

However, Manohar Lamichhane, spokesperson of JEMC, claimed that they already made the textbooks available at the districts where the academic session starts earlier than other districts.

Till now, it has sent 14, 00,000 books to Biratnagar, 7, 09,000 to Janakpur, 34,74, 000 to Bharatpur, 14, 05, 000 to Pokhara, 35, 50, 000 to Nepalgunj, 22, 55, 000 to Dhangadi based JEMC regional offices and 2, 76, 000 to the central distribution office of Sajha Publication. The total units of books sent to different parts amounts to 1,30,69, 000, Lamichanne informed.

The demands of number of books at JEMC are 2, 44, and 00,000 for this year but it has possessed only 1, 78, 29,000.

However, JEMC is claiming that it would supply the demanded textbooks within the deadline. It is unlikely that the JEMC would be able to provide all the needed number of books before the start of the academic year, because more than 65, 71,000 text books are still left to be printed.

The private publishers have got a chance to publishing and distributing the textbooks at the 32 districts of the Eastern Region and Western Region. But they sell their books out of these districts providing high commissions to the books distributors.

Lamichanne said due to an unfair competition of private publishers, JEMC books have not been able to get market during last year. The unfair competition must end through an effective monitoring system, Lamichhane said.