Textbooks shortage across Punjab: PU Pharm-D admission

Textbooks shortage across Punjab
Lahore, March 28, 2008: There is acute shortage of textbooks across the province, thanks to the policies of Punjab Text Book Board and the previous govt.

The tender system for publication of textbooks launched under the much-trumpeted 'Parha Likha Punjab' programme has miserably failed as more than 30 textbooks of different classes are not available in the market.
This acute shortage is creating a lot of problems for thousands of students of private sector educational institutions.

The govt changed the academic year for educational institutions from April to September 1 or last week of August. But the private sector never accepted the govt decision. The schools in private sector still continue to start the academic year mostly in end of March and April.

The parents are facing problems trying to find the textbooks in the market.

Chairman Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association Khalid Pervaiz talking to The Nation on Thursday said that the so-called reforms in the education sector have failed to bring in any change.

'There is acute shortage of books in the market and that is all due to the new system introduced by the Punjab Text Book Board. The old system was working smoothly since 1962. There was need for its improvement but not scrapping it', he said.

'There were 460 publishers registered with the PTBB, which were publishing textbooks for years. The quality of books was better. Now through tender system only eight people have been given the job of publishing textbooks. This has not only deprived thousands of employees of publishers of their livelihood but has also created chaos. The books are of substandard quality and not available', he added.

He explained that under the tender system no pre-qualification was necessary.

'In the earlier system the printers were pre-qualified. It was first seen whether they were taxpayers or not, whether they had the best Press equipment as well as pre-Press and post-Press facilities. They were then put in different categories and given the task of publishing. Now anyone can make a bid. The result is that now non-professional people have come in by greasing the palms of officials. The terms of tender are never followed in earnest. Un-professionalism in education has bumped up corruption as there is no relationship between the 'economic' and 'social' approaches to public tendering and equal opportunities', he said.

He criticised the free distribution of books saying it has not brought in any change. 'The students enrolment has not increased. It was all a political exercise for personal publicity. President Musharraf and Pervaiz Elahi image with brief messages was there on every book'.

'Free books were not the answer to the problems in the education sector. And they were doing it all on a loan from the World Bank. It would have been better if they had built the infrastructure of the schools. Interestingly the previous govt failed to open any new school providing quality education. Rather it departed from the responsibility by handing over many schools to NGOs', he added.

He further said that 'they should have increased the salaries of teachers. They should have acquired the services of best teachers to improve the quality of education and spent more money on teachers training. All the money that was acquired as a loan has gone down the drain. In fact every child as a Pakistani when he grows up will be burdened with the loan that the nation as a whole will pay'.

He said it was not only the books publishing that had been disturbed but the books compilation too had been affected.

'Eight texts for one book are required from different authors. Mafias have come into action and they submit one or two texts and that too at the nick of time. The result is that these are accepted. So like the tender system for publishing they have disturbed this system too. Now the publisher of their choice gets his book selected and then he can go to publish that and make money out of it', he added. The Nation

PU Pharm-D admission schedule
Lahore: Punjab University Examination Department has issued the schedule of admission forms of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D), 4th professional, Annual Examination 2007. The forms can be submitted with single fee till 01-04-08 while the last date for submission of admission forms with double fee is 04-04-08. The exam will commence from 17-04-2008. PPI



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