Textbook crisis again!
With the academic year of the secondary level students already in progress from this month, more than 50 percent of the students will have to wait for the books prescribed by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) due to an artificial crisis alleged to have been created by NCTB itself and syndicates of textbook publisher and sellers. The situation, however, prevailing now is not new at all as the failure and indifference of the authority concerned have been reflected time and again.
But this year the crisis seems to be more acute than before. In the past, less number of books than the actual demand used to be published since about 30 percent of old books were recycled every year. But recently the syllabi of the secondary level students have been modified with the introduction of a new system, known as 'creative question method', which requires every student to buy a new set of books. This has caused the demand to rise.
Being fully aware of the new syllabus, the NCTB's decision to print around two and a half crore books is puzzling; the actual demand is estimated to be over five crore. Interestingly, the textbook publishers and NCTB are blaming each other for the situation!
Teachers, students and guardians are facing a great problem in getting the required number of books to continue the academic activities. On top of that, many teachers are still unaware of the new teaching method as necessary training has not been imparted to them. If this situation goes on, the standard of education will suffer.
As a citizen of the country I express my deep concern and dissatisfaction over the situation. The government should tackle the issue of syndication with an iron hand, and the concerned authority must ensure availability of textbooks in the market without further delay.