Karnali students to get textbooks before start of academic session

Surkhet, Apr. 2: Unlike in the past, arrangements have been made in the Karnali Province to distribute textbooks to the students before the commencement of the new academic session this time.

This year, Janak Education Material Centre (JEMC) Surkhet has started distributing textbooks since March 22. Bhairav Babu Pant, a regional head of the centre, informed that 1 million textbooks have been brought to the warehouse and are being distributed to the districts. 

The JEMC has been distributing textbooks district-wise, prioritising remote districts. It has published a schedule for book distribution.

 According to the schedule, books are distributed in Humla and Dolpa from March 22-27, in Mugu from March 28-29, in Jumla from March 30-31, in Kalikot from April 1-2, in Jajarkot from April 3-4, in Dailekh from April 5-6 and in Surkhet from April 7-9. 

However, at present books are being distributed according to the demands of book traders from the districts. 

However, the centre claimed that there would be no shortage of books before the academic session as they had already stocked the necessary books in the warehouse. 

The book distribution schedule was prepared based on the remoteness of the districts. However, only two local levels in Humla have received 600 sets of textbooks so far. Meanwhile, books have not arrived in Mugu yet. 

To date, three book traders in Dailekh have received 2,300 sets of books and two book traders in Surkhet have received 1,100 sets of books. Additionally, 1,000 sets of books have arrived in Kalikot, 500 sets in Jumla and 600 sets in Jajarkot.

Approximately 6,200 sets of textbooks have been distributed district-wise so far. Regional Head, Panta said that despite sufficient books in the warehouse, book traders had not come to purchase the textbooks. 

The government has been providing free textbooks to students and the JEMC has been printing and supplying the textbooks to schools through vendors.

 However, due to financial issues between distributors, businessmen and schools, students struggle to get books on time. People in the education sector suggest implementing a coupon system to eliminate this hassle. 

Dal Bahadur Basnet, the head of the Education Development and Coordination Unit in Dolpa, said that students did not get textbooks on time due to the intertwined distribution system.

With the new structure, the right to finance the books has shifted to the local bodies. There is a new system where schools buy books and local bodies provide money.

According to Basnet, four local levels in Dolpa began the new academic session a month ago. He said that schools in the district were beginning academic sessions at different times, adversely affecting students due to the unavailability of textbooks. 

Surya Bahadur Khatri, the head of the Education Development and Coordination Unit in Mugu, said the books did not arrive on time as the local levels had delayed releasing the budget for the books. He said that the books had not arrived in Mugu yet.

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