KATHMANDU, Feb 14: The new school session has started in five mountain districts from Wednesday but the textbooks have yet to be supplied to the districts.
According to the Department of Education (DoE), there are around 68,000 students from Grades 1 to 10 in the five mountain districts -- Manang, Mustang, Jumla, Dolpa and Humla.
The task of printing the textbooks of Grades 1 to 5 had been assigned to private publishers while the state-owned Janak Education Materials Center (JEMC) itself published the textbooks of Grades 6 to 10.
According to the rules, the textbooks should be supplied to schools 15 days before the start of the new academic session.
However, they have not published all sets of books and supplied sufficiently to the remote districts as in the previous years, said Keshav Puri, president of the Guardians' Association Nepal. "We have learnt that the private sector publishers held a meeting on Tuesday in Nepalgunj in order to supply textbooks to Jumla, Humla and Dolpa districts," he said. "We will know if there was enough supply of textbooks only after the schools reopen," he added.
Devi Ram Aryal, deputy director at the DoE, admitted that private-sector publishers have yet to print all required sets of books and supply them to remote districts. "But JEMC has already printed the textbooks for the five districts," he said. "The books are being supplied and the students will get them very soon."
The new academic session of schools in the rest of the 72 districts will begin on April 14.