​Govt permits private firms to print school textbooks


Kokila KC

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The Ministry of Education has decided to stick to its earlier decision to allow private printing firms to print school textbooks.

Last year, the MoE had decided to allow private firms to print textbooks from Grade I to V, while Janak Education Materials Centre was entrusted with printing textbooks from Grade I to X.

Dr Hari Lamsal, spokesperson for the MoE, said JEMC would print textbooks from Grade VI to X only as private firms have been allowed to print textbooks from Grade I to V.

Earlier on July 28, a meeting of the Sajha Prakashan Management Committee headed by Education Minister Chitralekha Yadav had decided to recommend to the government to scrap the previous directive on printing and distribution of school textbooks.

The meeting had also decided to allow the JEMC to print textbooks from Grade I to X and entrust Sajha Prakashan with distributing textbooks across the country. The decision had created panic among private printers.

Dr Lamsal said that he was unaware of the earlier decision. “The decision yesterday was taken by the education ministry. I admit that the decision came late but we can still meet the target and before the new academic session begins.”

Diwakar Dhungel, executive director, Curriculum Development Centre, today said that they have not been officially informed about the government’s recent decision. He, however, said that his office was prepared to begin the process of selecting new firms and renewing the licenses of the old ones.

According to Lamsal, 19 private printing firms had registered with the CDC last year.“We will soon publish a public notice inviting interested firms to register with CDC. He informed that the registration and renewal process will be “fast-tracked” so that private firms can start textbook immediately.

Madhav KC, general secretary, Federation of Nepal Printers Association, hailed the government decision. He, however, said that the government should allow them to print school textbooks from Grade I to X so that there is no textbook shortage.

“Currently, there is no scarcity of textbooks from Grade I to V,” he said, adding, “But textbooks for Grade VI to X is in short supply across the country. Thus the government should allow private printing firms to print textbooks for all grades.”

Source: The Himalayantimes