Halfway through academic year, Karnataka schools await books
on Dec 22, 2021
More than halfway through the academic year, several private unaided schools affiliated with the state board are yet to get their share of textbooks. Some of the schools had paid the full amount and placed the indent well in advance with the state government. None of them have received the textbooks.
According to sources, private schools are yet to get textbooks in English and Mathematics. While the state government had made Kannada mandatory by passing an Act, it is yet to supply Kannada textbooks to schools. Private school managements alleged that the Department of Public Instruction is focusing on government schools and isn't bothered about private schools. "While taking orders, the department had insisted that we pay the full amount. But to date, majority of the schools have not received textbooks for some of the titles," said D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka.
"Even the Kannada language textbooks introduced under the compulsory Kannada learning Act have not reached schools affiliated to other boards like CBSE and ICSE," said the management representative of a school affiliated to CBSE.
A few private schools said they are struggling to conduct classes for grade 10 too, as some of the textbooks have not landed. "We are managing with photocopies of books obtained from other schools," said the principal of a private unaided school in Bengaluru. This year, the printing of textbooks was affected due to the lockdown. The department had plans to supply textbooks from the first day of school reopening, but it was delayed due to the pandemic situation.
"Despite the financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we schools managed to pay the full amount, but the department has failed to supply textbooks on time. The syllabus for some grades has been completed but we wonder when the department will supply the textbooks," Shashi Kumar said. The government had set aside Rs 153 crore for supplying textbooks in the state budget. The officials of the Karnataka Textbook Society, however, said there was no delay from the department side. "When we asked for indents, majority of the private schools requested for 65% of the books, saying they have previous year's books pending. Later, they gave an additional indent for 15%, the printing for which is under process," said an official. Madegowda, managing director, Karnataka Textbook Society, said, "About 85% of the textbooks have reached and the additional indent given by private schools for 11.50 lakh textbooks is at the level of printing and will reach schools in the next 15 days."
This academic year, offline classes resumed for grade 9 to 12 from August 23, for grades 6 to 8 from September 6, and for primary classes, from October 25. There are over 19,000 private unaided schools in the state, including those affiliated to other boards.
Source- Deccan Herald