Srinagar: The school education department has failed to provide adequate numbers of textbooks to the schools across the Valley, deflating the much hyped enrollment drive started by the department from November.
The schools are facing a dearth of textbooks for students despite the commencement of the new academic session in the institutions the department provides the text books as per the enrollment of the previous year which results in the shortfall.
“Another problem is that the department provides text books for only 75 percent of students and schools are asked to manage the 25 percent by reusing the textbooks provided to the students last year,” said a teacher posted in Baramulla district.
The teacher said the schools have witnessed an increase in the enrollment but the department has no text books available for them.
“Last year the student enrollment of my school was 100 which increased to 130 this year but the department provides books for only 100 students and asks the school to manage books for left out 30 students by collecting back textbooks of previous year from outgoing students or those who were promoted to next year,” the teacher said.
This policy has created a shortfall of textbooks in schools which has deflated the much hyped enrollment drive in schools as well.
“We have small kids in school who do not keep their textbooks in good condition so that they can be reused by the students for the second academic session. So we face a dearth of textbooks in schools due to flawed policies of the department,” the teacher said.
As per the figures shared by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK), the enrollment has increased by around nine percent in schools across Kashmir. The enrolment has increased by 56494 students during the enrolment drive carried out by the department.
But teachers from various districts complained that the department has not disbursed the text books to the schools which has discouraged the newly enrolled students in the schools.
“We are yet to receive the new text books for the current session from the department. We have collected text books of previous sessions from students to distribute them among the students for this session now,” said a teacher from Kupwara district.
The department has acknowledged the shortfall of textbooks in the schools and written to Chief Education Officers (CEOs) for sending requisitions for additional requirements of textbooks for the students.
“The enrollment drive in Valley has resulted in the additional demand of books in addition to the figures already projected by the districts earlier,” the official communication reads.
It states that most of the new enrolment falls in pre-primary classes for which the Directorate has already issued Kindergarten Kits for newly enrolled children on a pro-rata basis.
“The additional requirements can be met out of the school grant recently released by Samagra Shiksha,” it reads.
The director in the communication has stated that there has been a considerable increase in new enrolment of classes 1st to 8th for which more books will be required.
“In this respect you are advised to furnish the additional requirement of books for classes 1st to 8th to this office immediately so that the matter is taken on priority with JKBOSE authorities,” the official document reads.