MoE officials reluctant to solve textbook shortage problem

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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Kathmandu, Nov 24, Officials at the Ministry of Education (MOE) are reluctant to solve the problem of textbooks shortage, said the members of a committee formed to probe the irregularities in printing and distributing of school textbooks.

Speaking at an interaction on Thursday, they accused the ministry officials of not showing willingness to solve the problem. The MOE has not made the reports of the committee public even after six months of its submission.

The committee found an embezzlement of over Rs. 73,000,000 in the textbooks scam. The panel suspected that the irregularities occurred when the schools showed higher numbers of students than their actual numbers.

"The district education officers and local distributors have nexus in such irregularities," they said. They also found that the Janak Education Materials Center (JEMC) was responsible for the mismanagement of the textbooks.

The committee in its reports suggested that the ministry should verify the data of students, committee members said. It also suggested a reform in the management of the JEMC and implementation of the academic calendar.

The members of the committee suspected that the involvement of the ministry officials in the irregularities was the reason for the delay in making the report public.The members of the committee expressed their ire against the officials for the delay in making the report public.

Suprabhat Bhandari, chairman of the Guardians Association Nepal said that the report has no meaning if the government does want to implement itBhandari said that due to negligence of the concerned authorities, the students will continue to face shortage of textbooks this year as well.

Dharma Dutta Devkota, chairman of National Guardian Association, said that the bureaucrats have not taken any initiative even after the former minister directed to form a taskforce to implement the suggestions of the committee.Ram Chandra Silwal, Chief of JEMC, said that his organization alone was not responsible for failing to make the textbooks available on time.

He informed if the Ministry would not interfere, JEMC, this year, would be able to make available textbooks in time. Manohar Lamichhane, spokesperson at the JEMC, informed that many textbooks were in the store of its regional depot but the students did not get them because of misinformation.

(Source: The Rising Nepal)