Academic hit in Govt schools as students yet to receive free textbooks

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Srinagar : The academics of the students in government schools is badly hit as the students enrolled in these institutions are yet to receive the free textbooks from the department despite the passage of around two months since the new academic session started in schools.

The delay in distribution of the textbooks in schools has left the students at the receiving end as the department has failed to distribute the textbooks in schools on time.

the process for distribution of textbooks, as per the JKBOSE notification, was started from April 5 of 2023. As per the schedule the books were supposed to be distributed in all the zones across Kashmir by the last week of April or first week of May.

A school teacher from Kupwara district complained that some of the schools were yet to receive the textbooks from their respective zones which has forced them to manage the classes of students by reusing books of “book Bank” maintained by the department.

Under the Book bank initiative, the school teacher takes over the textbooks of the previous year from the students after they are promoted to their next class. The same textbooks are used by the students who are promoted to the next class.

“But under these circumstances most of the students are deprived of fresh textbooks as they are given worn out used textbooks. At times the Board authorities update the content of some textbooks but most of the students are not able to study the updated textbooks,” the school teacher said, wishing not to be named.

Similar complaints were received from other districts as the teachers complained that the department did not provide a complete set of textbooks for the school children.

“Out of eight books for class 7th, only three books have been provided by the department which includes Mathematics, Geography and Political Science,” said a teacher posted in one of the zones of Baramulla district.

He said that for class 5th primary, out of five textbooks only two have been provided which include English and Urdu while the students of 1st primary have been provided textbooks of only Kashmiri and English subjects.

“Students of 3rd and 4th classes have not received textbooks of Kashmiri while class 8th students have not received Geography, Kashmiri, English and Urdu,” the teacher said, wishing anonymity.

Notably, the education department has directed the school heads and teachers to create a book bank and utilize the old books and provide 25 percent from these old or used textbooks to the students while the rest of the 75 percent books will be provided by the department.

“But unfortunately only 50 percent of books have been provided. A school has 20 students in class 8th and availability of books has been managed by the school for five students while the department has provided books for only 10 students. There are no textbooks available for left out five students. This has created chaos in schools as students are without textbooks,” the school teacher said.

The teachers complained that either zonal offices have not submitted the requisition to JK Board as per the requirement of textbooks in schools or the Board authorities are not able to cater to the requirement in schools.

A top official in the School Education Department (SED) said the matter will be looked into and all the students will be provided with textbooks as per their requirements. “Any issue faced in distribution of textbooks will be looked into on priority. We will not let any student suffer,” the official said—(KNO)

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