The Himalayan Times, February 16, 2018
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has issued a circular to 753 local levels, directing them to ensure that all students of community schools get textbooks before the start of the new academic session.
In response to a recent letter received from the Department of Education, the circular issued by decentralisation section of the MoFALD yesterday said, “As necessary budget has already been allocated to all 753 local levels for the purchase and distribution of textbooks to schoolchildren of community schools, you are requested to deposit the prescribed amount to the bank account of the concerned schools to ensure that students get textbooks before late.”
The local levels have also been told to monitor schools to ascertain whether or not the students are deprived of textbooks. The responsibility of operating and managing basic and secondary education falls on the local government as per the constitution and the federal structure of governance. This paradigm shift in governance can work in favour of public schools which will be run under the scrutiny of people’s elected representatives since it is expected minimise negligence that has haunted the public education system in Nepal so far.
The MoFALD’s circular comes after the DoA feared that students of five districts — Manang, Mustang, Humla, Jumla and Dolpa — where the new academic session began from February 13, are unlikely to get their textbooks on time this year as well. These districts require a total of 223,580 textbooks. The new academic session in 70 districts will begin from April 14.
The government has given the responsibility of printing textbooks of 25 different subjects for Grade I to V to 17 private publication houses and the government-run Janak Educational Material Centre. From the new academic session, primary level students will get colourful textbooks of Mathematics, English, Nepali, Science and Social & Creative Studies
A total of 35,736,726, textbooks are required for students of Grade I to X, according to the DoA. Of the total number, private publication houses will be publishing 16,528,070 textbooks for Grade I to V, while JEMC will have to print as many as 19,239,656 textbooks for Grade VI to X.