Government flunks books test

5 months gone, mid-term exams on, students are yet to get textbooks
Last Updated : 18 October 2010, 02:37 IST
Last Updated : 18 October 2010, 02:37 IST

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For, mid-term examinations have begun for many of the schools and the textbooks are yet to find their way into the hands of the young students. In a belated effort, the Department has uploaded Class X textbooks in both in Kannada and English and the rest of the classes are supposed to follow shortly.

But a check with school associations revealed that it was the schools in north Karnataka districts and coastal districts like Raichur, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad, Hubli and Karwar and rural areas that have been deprived of textbooks. Not many are convinced that teachers and students in these districts would access these books online.

Even if the teachers did, doubts remain about how many of the students be successful in accessing the textbooks and downloading copies for themselves.

Teachers are resorting to the age old arrangement of using old textbooks and dictating notes, while the children are entirely reliant on the notes they have scribbled.

Karnataka Unaided School Management Association President G S Sharma revealed that they are now considering asking the publishers to supply directly to the school with permission from the government, if the situation does not improve soon.

Confused about procedure

What is amusing is the reasons that the Department is offering to cover up the failure to supply the textbooks on time. Apart from shortage of paper and power, Department officials blamed the schools not only for missing the deadline for ordering, but also for getting confused about the procedure for ordering the books from the government for the delay.

Officials also stated that ‘teething problems’ were normal when new system is introduced. But the fact remains that the Department did publish these books earlier, so how was it possible to grossly underestimate the number of textbooks that were being published every year?

The Commissioner of Public Instruction has filed an affidavit in High Court last month, stating they would supply all the textbooks in the state by October 20. If the Department does not stand by this, private school managements would be only too happy to haul them up for contempt.

The Department’s Principal Secretary R G Nadadur insisted that only 50,000 textbooks remained to be distributed and that would be done immediately. “For mid term exams, we have made alternative arrangements,” he said, refusing to elaborate what these mysterious ‘arrangements’ could be.

Published 17 October 2010, 16:43 IST

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