By Insha Latief
Srinagar: The new session in government schools has started but half the students have not received textbooks yet.
“How will our children study without books? They have nothing to read. In such circumstances, what will they do except idle,” said Mohammad Ikhlaq, parent of a Class 3 student.
The new academic session in government schools starts from November every year, but due to the unrest and the shutdowns, it was postponed to mid-November, and then again delayed due to thin attendance in schools.
According to teachers, they were told by officials of education department to collect textbooks during winter vacations. They were also told that the publication of textbooks had been hampered due to the civil unrest.
Asim Javaid, a teacher, said, “We were told that textbooks will be given during the winter break. Accordingly, we informed our students. But the majority of the students were not here. Most of the lower primary students were not coming to school. Students of the higher classes did come to receive the books.”
Teachers said that they received a limited number of books, which they could distribute to only half of the students in every class. In many schools, textbooks of the students who had passed the class were given in place of new books.
“This practice is routine now. In past years as well, the government had failed to provide books for all students on time,” said Ruqaya, a teacher.
According to teachers, some books are missing from the new set of books that were printed this year. “We have talked about it and those books will be provided soon,” Ruqaya said.
Officials of Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) told Reader that despite issuing notice to all districts twice, the education department officials have not come to collect the new books.
Kaneez Fatima, Director Academics and Joint Secretary Publication, said, “We have published books as per the requirement but officials of education department are not coming for the collection. Officials of far-flung districts couldn’t come because of bad road conditions and the weather.”
Imtiyaz Ahmed, personal assistant to the director academics, said, “The collection process will start soon and in a couple of days books will be distributed to all schools.”