GUWAHATI, Feb 15 � Even as some of the leading students� bodies are resenting the failure of the authorities to supply free textbooks to the school students, about 88 per cent of these schoolbooks, being supplied by the Assam State Textbook Production and Publication Corporation for the students reading between Class-I and Class VIII, are now available with the Corporation. Till February 13, 2,42,18,929 copies of the total 2,91,75,713 copies of the targeted publications � that is, 83.01 per cent, were sent to the 23 distribution centres across the State.
Sources in the Textbook Corporation told this correspondent here on Monday that the Corporation has been entrusted this year to publish 124 new books for the nine mediums of English, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Manipuri, Karbi, Nepali, Hmar and Garo.
Each of these mediums, barring the Hmar and Karbi mediums, required 15 textbooks to be published in the present arrangement. Of them, eight are in mathematics, three are in science, two in language and one each in environmental science and social science. The Hmar medium has seven new textbooks to be published, while in Karbi medium, four textbooks are to be published under the present arrangement, said the sources.
It is expected that the rest 12 per cent books will be available by the end of this month.
Listing the problems deterring the timely distribution of the textbooks, sources said that as the NCERT textbooks are adopted this time for the Upper and Lower Primary level students of the State, the translation process took time. In some of the mediums like Bengali, Bodo, Nepali and Garo, the manuscripts or the DVDs arrived late in the Textbook Corporation.
Then again, the printing presses which have been entrusted with the job of printing the textbooks, faced problems in opening the DVDs. Moreover, the printouts of the textbooks had to be sent to the SCERT, as per the rule, for approval.
Besides, since 12 books are four-coloured, printing of these books could be done only in a limited number of printing presses. Delay in distribution of the textbooks occurred also due to the failure of the District Mission Coordinators of the Sarba Siksha Abhijan Mission. Now the Census operations have also added to the problems.
All these factors contributed to the delay in publishing the textbooks and problems were confronted in the books of science and mathematics and more problems occurred in some school books prepared in Bengali, Bodo, Manipuri, Garo, Hmar and Nepali mediums.
The books on science and mathematics were adopted from NCERT, while the books on social science, language, environmental science, which were reprints only, were distributed in time.
By the end of this month the problems faced in Bengali, Bodo and Manipuri textbooks are expected to be over. The problems facing the Hmar and Karbi mediums are being sorted out in a day or two.