Textbooks shortage hits far west region

Dipayal. May 11:

Students in the far-western region have been deprived of textbooks, though a month has elapsed since the new academic calendar began.

The agitating booksellers have been staging a sit-in on the premises of Sajha Publication House, Dhangadhi. Students even padlocked the regional office of the publication for a week. Sajha Publication, Dipayal, the only office entrusted with supplying the textbooks in the region, has been unable to meet textbook demands of the seven hilly districts, including Achham, Bajura, Bajhang and Dadeldhura, Sajha Dipayal branch office head Shiva Prasad Sharma said. Compared to last year, the demand has doubled this year, he said.

The book shortage surfaced after the change in curricula of Grades III, IX and X this year. A bookshop owner in Dipayal, Navaraj Bhandari, said they were unable to clear the stock of books printed last year due to the change in school curricula. A bookshop owner in Doti’s Pachnali, Chhatra Joshi, said the yearly change of curricula led to financial burden on poor students.

Some teachers were of the view that besides Janak Educational Materials Centre, the only centre responsible for printing of textbooks for government schools, private institutions should also be allowed to print textbooks.