Book exhibition evokes lukewarm response

Book exhibition evokes lukewarm response

Education department organized the event to “restore relationship” between students and books
By INSHA LATIEF
SRINAGAR: A lukewarm response to a book exhibition organised by the directorate of school education has bewildered booksellers here. The two-day exhibition was held at the premises of Kothi Bagh Higher Secondary School. As many as 50 book sellers and publishers set up their stalls at the exhibition but they failed to evoke a good response from the students.
Most of the buying was done by teachers and professors besides some officials who got the books for school libraries.
The booksellers say that one of the major reasons for poor response to the exhibition was the location of the event. They said that the exhibition was held at Sangarmal shopping complex last year and it evoked fairly good response. Mushtaq Ali, a bookseller said, “Children make use of internet for studying and also for recreational purposes. However, book reading is more fun and we offer discount on sale of books.”
The students say that the timing and venue of the book exhibition was not well thought over.
“I am a science student and I go for three tuitions daily. I have no time to go to book exhibition and read books not included in my syllabus,” Firdous Rafiq, a student said.
Aqsa Zahoor, a student of class XII said, “Everything is available on the internet free of cost. One can read as many books without spending a single penny,” she said. The teachers say that they purchase books for the school library to make them available for the students. “Students are not getting books according to their syllabus. Even if they make purchase, they won’t be able to get everything from one book. We are purchasing books for school library so that books can be available to them,” Aaliya Shah, a teacher said.
Officer on special duty at the directorate of school education G N Shakir said that the purpose of holding book exhibition was to restore the relationship between the books and the students. “With the use of internet the culture of book reading is declining. Our motive is to inculcate among students the habit of visiting school libraries and book reading,” he said.
He said the education department is mulling to make school librarians accountable.
“We will take monthly report from librarians on the issuance of books to students. This will alert library in-charges and prompt them to engage students in book reading,” Shakir said.

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