Lack of textbooks affects studies in ParbatThree months into the academic session, authorities’ failure to provide books leaves students, teachers in the lurch.
Academic calendar prepared for the current academic session in Parbat’s Kushma Municipality says the first terminal examinations kick off from Tuesday in all community schools in the local unit. The community schools are preparing accordingly to conduct the exams as planned by the municipality’s education unit.
However, hundreds of students in Kushma are yet to get textbooks. They are compelled to sit for the examinations without having the textbooks.
“How can we pass the exam as we don’t have textbooks?” asked Nabin KC, an eighth grader at Narayan Secondary School in Kushma-9. “We are unable to do homework. We have to sit for the exams based on what we heard from teachers in the class.” KC said that he is not prepared well for the test due to the lack of a textbook.
The academic session, which began on May 15 this year, has taken a hit thanks to the shortage of textbooks. Authorities concerned failed to provide textbooks even after three months of the academic session, leaving the students as well as teachers in the lurch.
“The municipality does not have its role regarding the supply of the textbooks,” said Brishnu Prasad Tiwari, chief of Kushma Municipality’s education unit. “The books are printed and distributed by the central authorities. We have to prepare an academic calendar to complete the course in time.”
Kushma Municipality, however, is not an isolated case; the situation of the community schools in other local units in the district is also the same. Across the district, community schools have been facing a shortage of grade 6’s English books; grade 8’s Social Studies, Moral Education and Occupation, Business and Technology Education; and grade 9’s Nepali subject books.
Sanjaya Regmi, teacher at a Kushma-based community school, said the shortage of textbooks has had a negative impact on the reading culture among students.
“We have been teaching somehow on the basis of curriculum,” Regmi said. “But the lessons are not effective as the students do not do their homework or study properly citing the lack of textbooks.”
Teachers complain that the government is not sincere about the education sector.
Shortage of textbooks even after three months since the session’s commencement shows how responsible the government is about the education sector, said Gobinda Pokharel, headmaster at Narayan Secondary School.
“The Covid-19 pandemic greatly affected the reading culture among the students last year,” Pokharel said. “And shortage of textbooks has had a similar impact in the current academic session.”
The textbooks are supplied from Waling bazar of neighbouring Syangja district in some local units in Parbat’s southern part. Similarly, books are transported to Jaljala Rural Municipality from Myagdi while books are directly supplied to many schools of Phalebas Municipality and Modi Rural Municipality from Pokhara, the provincial headquarters of Gandaki. The textbooks are in short supply, mainly in grade 7 and 9, in these local bodies as well.
According to Ganesh Paudel, operator of Parbat’s largest book distributor Jaya Durga Stationery, almost all the books which are printed by Janak Education Material Centre are in short supply in the district.