Kathmandu: The government has been providing free books for students from classes 1 to 10. Janak Education Materials Centre has been publishing the textbooks according to the admission statistics provided by the education department every year. Every year textbooks worth millions of rupees are published. There is a provision where the schools buy those published books according to the number of their students and distribute to them. But, all those books cannot be sold and are stored in the regional storehouse of Janak Education Materials.
In the previous year, Janak Education had published 2 crore books for classes 6 to 10. It has regional storehouses and offices in Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Bharatpur, Janakpur and Biratnagar. From those offices, various agents transport the books to other different districts. Head of Publication and Press, Krishna Katuwal said that in the previous 32 lacs books were not sold and the cost of those books were around 15 crore rupees. Janak Education Material had not provided all the books at the same time which was the cause of all books not being sold said the agents who transport the books and school teachers. Since new books were not received the teachers claimed that they taught from the old books.
Janak Education gives the agent who transports books to the rural areas nearly 38% commission. Whereas in other developed areas commission is a lot less. ‘Most of the agents take up responsibility to sell the books in the rural areas but they get profit by selling those books in the Terai region,’ said a books businessman in Nepalgunj, ‘It is a compulsion to send the books to the upper hilly and thus there is an agreement between the teachers and the agents and they split up the commissions and to evade from that they bring up the reason of not receiving the books on time.’ He added that the agent and the teachers adjust the receipt of the bill. Besides that, most of the schools also show the number of admitted students more.
Head of Press, Krishna Katuwal, mentioned that Janak Education published a large quantity of a single subject books at the same time and distributes them everywhere also at the same time. ‘It is usual for all the books to not reach at the same time,’ accepting the fact that the transportation was weak and in most of the cases the publication of the books was not same he said, ‘But it is an excuse to say that the schools have not received new books and had to teach from the old books. It is the responsibility of the school’s principal and teachers to send all the books on time.’
The price of the books which are provided free of cost for a set of books up to class 5 is Rupees 1,463; for classes 6 to 10 the cost is Rupees 2,739. That amount is deposited in the school’s account and from that amount books are bought and provided to the students by the school. From this year the schools have to buy and distribute the books to students according to the budget received from the Municipality or Rural municipality. In this matter, local representatives, school management committee and parents should be well aware.