The Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation, which is getting ready to print nearly 6.9 crore books for classes I to X for the coming academic year, is having difficulty in getting printers to take up the work.
It is over a month since tenders inviting printers, including those from the southern States, were floated but the response is slow and not many seem to be meeting the requirements.
According to A.S. Jeevarathinam, Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation, 43 printers who were involved in printing Samacheer Kalvi textbooks for classes I and VI last year are involved this year too. “In addition, this year we have selected 23 printers and very recently 10 more. We need more printers but the number of applications is few,” he said.
The Corporation wants to enlist at least 100 printers for the work to ensure that printing of ‘Samacheer Kalvi' textbooks progresses smoothly and the books reach the schools before June 1. It hopes to complete printing of all textbooks before March 31, for which the Corporation wants to identify many more quality printers by this month end. Most printers do not have the multi-colour machine required for the purpose. Other specifications listed on the website for printers to qualify include 80 GSM hi-tech map litho and 200 GSM virgin-coated board. Six printers from Andhra Pradesh and four from Karnataka are among the companies who have met the specifications.
This apart, the Corporation is anxiously waiting to get the subject CDs from the School Education Department. “Of the CDs of 65 subjects that we need to get, we have so far received only 35,” said Mr. Jeevarathinam.
School heads say there is an apprehension, especially for class X, when the textbooks would be ready, since teachers need to prepare the lesson plan in advance as the syllabus is new. The uniform syllabus and textbook for classes up to X would come into affect by integrating all streams – Anglo-Indian, Matriculation, State and Oriental. In some schools, the class X portion starts well in advance.