Concern over timely availability of schoolbooks

school booksKathmandu, Jan 17: Various speakers have expressed doubt over timely printing and distribution of schoolbooks unless the improvement in management and financial discipline was maintained in the Janak Education Materials Centre Ltd.
During a meeting of the Women, Children and Social Welfare Committee under the Legislature-Parliament held on Tuesday, Secretary at the Education Ministry, Shanta Bahadur Shrestha said, “The JEMC should be brought under the ambit of financial discipline. Financial aspect of the JEMC is messy even after having capacity, opportunity, infrastructure, property and market.”
Shrestha said that the JEMC has got responsibility to print some 20 million textbooks for class 6-10 for the coming academic session. It has capacity to print 60,000 pieces of textbooks a day. “How can it be possible to send textbooks in all schools within March 28,” he wondered.
On the occasion, it was informed that the JEMC is in loss for five years, wan on Rs 1.80 billion loan. Rs 200 million loan is added every year.
Minister for Education, Dhaniram Poudel, however, has said that an environment has been built to print the textbooks by JEMC and to distribute these by the Sajha Publication.
Minister Poudel said, “Decision has not been made how to distribute the textbooks. Permission has been given to 15 private presses to print the textbooks from class 1 to 5.”
Likewise, Director General at the Department of Education, Baburam Poudel, said that the JEMC has told that it could not print 5 million out of 200 million copies of books and it was difficult to print the sufficient number of textbooks if the alternative was not searched immediately.
Poudel said, “The JEMC can print 80,000 textbooks if it works round the clock. It has to print 179,000 copies of textbooks every day to meet the target.”
Similarly, Joint-Secretary at the Finance Ministry, Madhu Marasini, said that it was necessary to revise the regulation sent by the Education Ministry in order to avail Rs 65 billion.
Chief of Curriculum Development Centre, Krishna Prasad Kapri, Chairman of Sajha Publication, Dolendra Sharma, also expressed their views.
According to Department of Education, a total of 37.1 million copies of textbooks are necessary for the coming academic year.

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