Schools can pay advance for textbooks by May 31

The schools had earlier opposed the government’s decision and demanded more time on the grounds that the government had given them very little time, and that it was unfair on both the managements and parents.

The Commissioner of the Department of Public Instruction, Harish Gowda, in his reply to the legal notice sent by the Karnataka State Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA), stated that he has requested the Managing Director of the Text Book Society to extend the time till the end of May.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Gowda confirmed the decision to give more time to unaided schools and said, “The bulk of textbooks are meant for government and aided schools. This will be dispatched by April. A small portion of the order will be for unaided schools and they will be given time till the end of May.” He once again assured that the quality of the books will be good and will be priced less.

Gowda, however, warned that the longer unaided schools take to place their requirement, the longer they will have to wait for the arrival of the textbooks. “If they place their requirement only at the end of May, they will probably receive the books earliest by the first week of June or later,” he said. He also added that the government had taken the responsibility for printing textbooks was because private printers did not take bulk orders.

Meanwhile, President of KUSMA, G S Sharma welcomed the decision and said, “This decision is convenient for the majority of unaided schools and we thank the Commissioner for extending the deadline.”

Commenting on the quality of textbooks, about which KUSMA had expressed concern earlier, Sharma said since the Commissioner had given assurances and made positive statements, they would wait. “Our concern was the quality of printing and the language used in the books,” he said.

HC appoints amicus curie
The High Court has appointed senior counsel P S Rajgopal as amicus curie in connection with the petition challenging procurement of textbooks.
The petitioners, Minority Schools Managements Federation (MSMF) had moved the High Court challenging the recent circular directing all the educational institutions from Standard I to X to procure textbooks from the Karnataka Textbooks Society for the year 2010-11 by paying a demand draft drawn in favour of the MD of the society on or before February 28.

They had also stated that no textbooks will be available in the open market.
The petitioners had stated that by virtue of this circular, they are threatening unaided schools apart from putting parents to severe hardship.The Managing Director of the Society is the Commissioner of Public Instructions, who is an IAS officer and a government servant. They contended that he had no authority to direct managements of private, unaided school managements to buy textbooks from the society. The matter has been adjourned.

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