KATHMANDU, Jan 13: Janak Education Materials Center (JEMC) is not prepared to deliver text books to mountain districts this year. Academic sessions in Manang, Mustang, Jumla, Humla and Dolpa districts begins on February 12 but the JEMC has not printed required textbooks for grades 1 and 2.
“So far, they have not printed a single textbook for grade 1 and 2. If this is not addressed immediately textbooks won't reach on time to students in mountainous districts,” Suprabhat Bhandari, member of the Curriculum Management and Monitoring Central Committee (CMMCC) and president of the Guardians Association Nepal, said.
Concerned with the delay, the CMMCC had issued a seven-day ultimatum on January 4 to JEMC for publishing the books. JEMC, state-owned publishing house, is rgw main responsible body to print school text books on the basis of government approved curriculum. Apart from these two grades, CMMCC claimed that the center had published only 50 percent of the required textbooks for other grades.
“The textbooks should be published within two weeks for Himalayan districts and within 75 days for rest of the districts,” said Bhandari stating that sessions in other part of the nation will be starting from April 14.
In response to the criticism, JEMC officials shifted the blame on the government for not availing budget for printing the textbooks. “The center is under millions of debt and in such condition it is facing difficulty to print the required textbooks,” said the official.
Responding to the shortage, a CMCC meeting convened on Wednesday has requested publishing houses including the JEMC to submit action plan for printing text books by Friday, Bhandari informed.
Dr Hari Lamsal, spokesman at the Ministry of Education, said that the ministry has been serious in addressing the issue and is in discussion with the Ministry of Finance to allocate the required budget. “We are in contact with the finance ministry for availing budget for publishing the textbooks as soon as possible,” he said. There are around 7.5 million students in the public and private schools across the country.