KATHMANDU, Jan 5: The Curriculum Management and Monitoring Central Committee (CMMCC) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Janak Education Materials Center (JEMC) to begin preparations for printing school textbooks as the state-owned publishing house is the responsible body for the purpose.
The government is yet to print 50 percent of textbooks for the coming fiscal year although only a few months are left for the next academic session to start, according to the CMMCC.
“Only about 50 percent of textbooks for the next academic session have been printed till now,” said a committee member, adding, “The books should have been already published as it is time to distribute the books to the districts.”
A meeting of the CMMCC headed by Babu Ram Paudel, director general of the Department of Education, with the departmental heads, private schools, guardians and stakeholders, was held on Wednesday to discuss about the delay in printing the textbooks. The new academic session begins from mid-April.
“We have given seven days to the JEMC to present its work plan for printing textbook,” said Suprabhat Bhandari, member of the CMMCC and president of the Guardians Association Nepal. “After a week, we will take necessary action and seek better option to publish the books on time,” he added.
In the previous years, the government used to begin the printing of textbooks from mid-July for the upcoming academic year, according to a Ministry of Education (MoE) official. However, it began the process from October this time, said the official.
If the government fails to print the books immediately, the school students will be deprived of getting textbooks on time in the coming academic year that starts from mid-April, said MoE officials.
The JEMC is the main authority to publish the textbooks of public schools in the country. The JEMC was assigned to print a total of 17,753,218 units of textbooks from Grade VI to X this year. There are around 6 million students enrolled in public schools across the country. It has been learnt that the lack of textbooks had hampered the teaching-learning process of the school students in the previous years too.
The book printing process was hindered as the representatives of JEMC and private publishers proposed to double up the cost of book printing in a meeting held at the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) some months ago, according to CDC officials. However, it was not implemented owing to objections from the stakeholders.