They will be despatched from printing press directly to Chief Educational Officer

Free copies of textbooks for the coming academic year will reach schools much earlier. To lessen the delay caused during despatch, the Tamilnadu Textbook Corporation this time will be sending them directly from the printing press to the office of the Chief Educational Officer in every district.

According to sources in the Corporation, all the textbooks will reach schools by mid-May. By despatching the books directly from the source to the educational district, one operation is reduced.

Also, with the trimester pattern being introduced from the academic year 2012-13, officials are hopeful that books can be despatched easily. As for textbooks for classes I to VIII, where the trimester pattern is being introduced, all subjects will come in one book – meant only for one semester. “Whatever little is ready we will be despatching them immediately,” said the source.

A total of 4.5 crore free books, supplied to government and aided-schools, will be printed for classes I to VIII (1st semester) and IX to XII (three semesters). For the entire academic year, the number of books required is estimated to be over seven crore.

The number of printers who have expressed interest is also more than last academic year.

Of the 194 printers who had sent their quotations, 160 of them have been selected. The government has decided to go for the same quality, including the colour and pictures, as was provided last year.

A majority of the national private publishers are waiting to hear from the Directorate of School Education on whether they will be invited by the government to publish books for the new academic year.

The last two years private schools were given the option of purchasing textbooks from publishers approved by the State government.

Nearly 25 publishing houses are on the list of approved publishers.

But last year, because of the confusion surrounding ‘Samacheer Kalvi' many private publishers were sceptical whether schools were willing to wait for books published under their brand.

“There is no clarity yet, we are waiting to hear from the department,” said a publishing house when contacted. Other publishers said with this being the first year of the trimester pattern being introduced, it looks unlikely if schools would want to take a chance.

The syllabus is also yet to be uploaded. Publishers generally start the process in January, when they approach the schools, get the number of books to be printed, and so on.

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Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012