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Annual episode: school textbooks still elusive

PANAJI: Continuing its annual tradition of delaying the distribution of textbooks to schools students around Goa, the department of education is still unable to provide exact date when these students would receive all their textbooks. The schools reopened for the academic year on June 4, earlier this week.

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which is entrusted with the responsibility of providing textbooks to the school students in the state, is still unable to do so for students from Class I to Class VIII. This has resulted in the students borrowing the old books from those students who have passed the particular classes and promoted to next standards.

Since 2006, when the state education department shifted over to the textbooks containing syllabus provided by the National Council of Educational Research and Training, it failed to get these textbooks with the NCERT-supplied content, printed on time.

Every year, the students of various classes had to face difficulties in receiving their textbooks, even after the reopening of the schools.

This year, at the beginning of May, the department of education had assured that the school textbooks would be disbursed to the school students on time, especially as 30 per cent of quota of the textbooks printed last year, had remained undisbursed.

“The textbooks printed this year have also started arriving from the printer,” the DoE had informed.

The sources at the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Goa, informed that the work of distribution of school textbooks is in progress, with two truckloads of textbooks arriving from the printer every day. The sources maintained that the work of disbursement of textbooks to school students could continue during this fortnight. However, they could not provide the deadline for completion of this exercise.

The SSA sources maintained that this year, the contract of printing the textbooks has been changed and therefore, it could be one of the reasons for delay in the supply of text books.

As per the available information, till June 4, the day when schools in the state reopened, only 50 per cent of the required textbooks were in the possession of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Schools in many of the talukas are still awaiting the distribution of textbooks. The students of Classes I and Classes III in the schools from Bicholim talukas have not received any textbook, while SSA, Goa has disbursed only 50 per cent books to the schools in the Canacona taluka.

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