Students still waiting for textbooks
KARACHI, Aug 30: Hundreds of thousands of class I and class VI students
across the province have not yet started their academic sessions due to the
non-availability of textbooks. It is expected that the books would not be
available before the middle of next month, officials in the provincial education
Sources blamed the tussle between Chief Minister Dr
Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro as the main reason
behind the delay, besides the long and cumbersome procedures of the Curriculum
Wing, Islamabad, which impeded the introduction of new curricula and delayed the
printing of books on time.
Sources said the Sindh Textbook Board (STB)
had submitted the summary for the allocation of the books to the education
department in January this year. But it took almost five months for the
authorities to approve the summary, giving the publishers just over a couple of
months to accomplish the task. The delay was due to a tiff within the provincial
cabinet which culminated in the curtailing of powers of the education
Besides, the sources said, the provincial authorities had sent
the new curricula, devised by around a dozen publishers, to the Curriculum Wing
for approval. However, the latter cited a long procedural exercise for review of
the new curricula and did not select and approve them.
The sources said
that after waiting for so long, the STB authorities decided to do away with the
new curricula and stick to the old syllabus for class I and VI at least for a
The STB also devised the same policy for class IX and XI and
approved the continuation of the old curricula for these classes.
new curricula for classes I, VI, IX and XI could be implemented from the next
academic session," said a source in the education department.
said the STB approved the allocation for the old curricula books on July 1,
which was a nightmare for the publishers given the fact that it was too gigantic
a task to accomplish in just a month.
The fact was that the city
witnessed record prolonged power failures this summer, which was an extension of
miseries for the publishers as their work was already affected a great deal in
the wake of widespread rains.
The STB gets published millions of
textbooks for class I and around three-fourths of it are for class VI. Each of
six books of class I – Sindhi, English, Urdu and maths in three languages – is
required in at least a million copies, said a source, adding that for class VI
publishers had to produce over a dozen textbooks in three languages.
STB authorities, a few months ago, had claimed to be the 'leading' board in
bringing out these newly developed textbooks this year in accordance with the
new curricula and new educational policy.
A spokesman for the STB had
said that despite the delay in allocation to the publishers, the management had
made 'extraordinary' efforts and chalked out a schedule to work on a war-footing
to bring out all the allocated textbooks according to schedule.
the events that followed proved that the STB could not take the lead over the
rest of the textbook boards of the country. As a matter of fact, Sindh lags
behind the rest of the country in distributing textbooks to class I students who
have not yet begun their formal schooling. Dawn