The first few days in school are always bitter-sweet. On the one hand, children are eager to see their new classroom, meet old buddies and chat endlessly about the fun they had in the holidays. On the flip side, this period also makes children get into a more structured routine.

Punctuality, regular bathing, mother’s early-to-bed chants overshadows the blissful experiences of the fantastically unorganised holidays when most kids are on the edge of craziness.

Life now is all about backpacks, lunch boxes and school uniforms. Students, on their part, have gotten into the groove. But are the school authorities ready to cater to their academic needs? The answer is yet again an oft-heard ‘No’.

Only part of the textbooks meant to be distributed among schools have arrived. The same old story of ‘schools reopen but textbooks not ready’ repeats yet again.

The 3,300-odd schools run by the Government across Krishna district require 21,37,363 textbooks.

This year, supply of 19, 33,382 textbooks will be adequate to cater to the academic needs of schools as the remaining requirement can be fulfilled with last year’s ground balance.

The Education Department has received stocks of 11,47,174 textbooks while it is yet to receive 7,86,208 more textbooks. Delay in supply of textbooks is a recurring phenomenon that subjects, both students and teachers, to problems.

Textbooks of subjects that have not yet arrived in the district book selling point are Telugu reader for second class, English reader for fourth class, mathematics for fifth class, mathematics (English medium) and English reader for sixth class and Hindi reader for seventh class.

“We are expecting all the stocks by June 20,” says Deputy Education Officer Krishna Reddy. Ask him about the cause of the delay and he is quick to point out: “This year, we are in a much better position. Last year, we continued the textbook-supplying exercise almost till November. This academic year, we already have got at least 60 per cent of the textbooks ready for distribution.”

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