Students without textbooks two months into academic year
RAWALPINDI, Oct 7: Two months after
schools have reopened, students of the Punjab government schools still do not
have the complete set of books in their syllabus.
According to the Punjab
Education Sector Reform Programme, middle level textbooks are given free of cost
to students at the provincial government schools. Moreover, female students are
also given Rs 200 as stipend.
Last year, the government had changed the
academic year to accommodate the fact that schools and colleges in the province
opened in August instead of April.
Parents and students had since
complained that despite after about two months, the complete course books had
still not been provided by the administration.
The headmasters and the
headmistresses of the Punjab government schools which we visited said
they had written to the District Education Department several times, but had not
received any reply so far. They said they would distribute books among students
whenever they got them.
Saghir Alam, a higher secondary school teacher,
said the situation in rural areas was far worse because urban students can get
books from markets but this was not the case in rural areas. He said students in
rural areas sometimes did not get textbooks until much of the academic year was
Usman Javed, father of a student studying at the Muslim school
said, "Everyday my daughter asks me to bring her books, but I cannot find them
despite my search in all bookshops of the city." He said he had found a copy of
the Urdu textbook in one of the old bookshops but he has not managed to get the
Kashif Ahmed, a student of Islamia High School, said
most of the students did not have the complete syllabus after two months and
their studies were being affected.
We surveyed the bookshops in
Sadar and Urdu bazaar in Rawalpindi and found that many shopkeepers did not
stock Punjab board textbooks.
Khalid Rehman, a bookseller, said
shopkeepers normally did not keep the Punjab board textbooks, as they were
available at the provincial government schools free of cost.
District Officer (Education) Chaudhry Mohammad Yousaf said it was not true that
students did not get Punjab board textbooks. He said some textbooks had not been
given to students because the government had made changes in those books. He
said the books would be given to students after they get printed. He said the
new books could arrive from Lahore in two or three days.
students at schools are waiting for textbooks and others who are studying old
books, which they found with relatives or at old bookstores, have not realised
that their course had been changed. Daily Times