The books for classes 5, 6 and 8 are yet to be printed. Students have not received textbooks for other classes as well.
Due to the negligence of Janak Shiksha Samagri Kendra, it has not been decided how long the children enrolled in the new class will be able to get the textbooks. The slogan ‘Textbooks in the hands of students at the time of admission’ announced by the government has been in vain.
Schooling has started but since Friday, Janak Shiksha has opened depots for distribution of printed textbooks. Books and stationery dealers complained that the depot could not start transportation and sale due to lack of textbooks as per the demand. He said that Janak Shiksha, which could not print the required books on time, had also cleverly opened the depot. Because the depot, which opened on Friday, will start distributing books only from Monday after public holidays on Saturday and Sunday. The opening of the depot has been delayed as the required number of textbooks for 5th, 6th and 8th grade could not be printed and the textbooks for other classes have not been completed. Earlier, the depot was barred from opening under the pretext of staff election.
Sanjay Kumar Chaudhary, president of the Federation of Nepal Book and Stationery Entrepreneurs, said that it would take at least two weeks for Janak Shiksha to sell, distribute and transport the books to schools across the country. The federation has claimed that more than 30 percent of the textbooks are yet to be printed even though Janak Shiksha has not provided official data. Chairman Chaudhary, who is also a book dealer in Dhangadhi, asked, “How to send books to remote districts including Bajura, Bajhang, Mugu and Humla?” Book sellers allege that Janak Shiksha hid the data due to not printing enough books. He pointed out that the books are not likely to reach the schools in the places where the roads do not reach the sellers within a few days. “Every year there is a similar problem. Students from remote areas get the books only by helicopter, otherwise half of the academic session will be wasted,” he added.
Even sellers in and around Kathmandu have not been able to get the book. Books sold by Janak Shiksha are bought, shipped and sold to schools. A stationery operator of Kathmandu Vanasthali said that they could not buy the books as the depot was not operational. “Students’ studies have started. They have to sell books at this time, but they have not been able to sell a single book,” he said. Textbooks based on the new curriculum are being implemented in classes 4, 7 and 9 from this academic session. The students have not been able to get the textbook. Janak Shiksha has stated that the depots of the provincial office have been opened for the sale and distribution of books for class 4-12. The sellers, on the other hand, said that they will start shipping only if they get the complete set and the book as per the demand.
FNCCI’s Janak Education Representative and Bagmati State President Narayan Shrestha claimed that there was no demand book in any of the depots. “Students could not get the book at the time of admission. Some classes are yet to be printed. There is no book in the complete set,” he said. Janak Education Information Officer Chitra Kumar Acharya said that the sellers will be able to buy books from Monday as the depots are already operational. He said, “Books 5, 6 and 8 are insufficient. There will be less than 2.5 million books,” he said. Despite his claims, sellers say that 4 million books are not enough. It takes at least a month and a half to print such a book.
Janak Shiksha has not been able to print the book till the first week of June.
Janak Shiksha has not been able to provide textbooks to the students even after the regular academic session started in May. Last year, one more month was added to the academic session after Kovid affected reading. Acharya admitted that the printing of textbooks was delayed due to untimely supply of paper and manpower being busy in printing ballot papers. But Janak Education Manager Anil Kumar Jha had been saying that the printing of the book would not be stopped.
The Ministry of Education has instructed to start reading from the first week of May by completing the examination, publication of results, admission, distribution of textbooks and other programs by mid-April. Books of class 1-3 printed by private publications are being sold and distributed. The books printed by Janak Shiksha are being taken by vendors from Sanothimi, Janakpur, Biratnagar, Bharatpur, Butbal, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi and Surkhet distribution centers of Bhaktapur. About 1,200 booksellers are listed for sale.