School textbooks worth Rs 300 million printed by JEMC unsold

Kathmandu, June 3

More than five million textbooks of Grade VI to X worth around Rs 250 million to Rs 300 million and one million coloured textbooks of Grade I to V worth Rs 60 to 65 million printed by Janak Education Material Centre have remained unsold this year.

JEMC officials said the textbooks might never come into use as the government is preparing to introduce new curriculum next year. JEMC was expected to make profit this year for the first time in the last 12 years, but with a large number of books unsold this is unlikely.

JEMC officials have accused the government-run Sajha Prakashan of illegally printing and selling textbooks and the Department of Education of not providing them the actual data on students across the country.

JEMC, a government-run publication house, is the sole entity entrusted with printing and distributing textbooks of Grade VI to X.

According to officials of the Department of Education, they had asked JEMC to print a total of 19.2 million copies of textbooks of Grade VI to X and additional 1.5 million copies of coloured textbooks of Grade I to V.

Information officer at JEMC Chitra Acharya said, “Sajha Prakashan entrusted with printing English version of textbooks in the academic year 2016-17, but they printed and supplied even the translated version of textbooks this year as well.”

Curriculum Development Centre is the body responsible for selecting firms to print and distribute textbooks. Executive Director of CDC Krishna Prasad Kapri, however, said they were unaware that even Sajha Prakashan printed and distributed textbooks.

Director General of Sajha Prakashan Dolindra Prasad Sharma said since the CDC provided the final draft of all the textbooks late last academic session, they had books in stock which they sold.

Similarly, Deputy Director at Education Material Management Section at DoE Devi Ram Aryal said, “We had sent accurate data on students to JEMC. However, many community schools these days are using textbooks used by private schools. This might have resulted in lower sales of textbooks.” Aryal said this year students across the country received textbooks on time.

JEMC is yet to repay loans amounting to over Rs 100 million taken from various banks.