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New academic year begins with complaints of textbook shortage

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N. Rahul

Backlog of 1.06 crore books lying in godowns of various districts to be despatched soon

HYDERABAD: The new academic year has begun for schools, albeit with the usual complaint of shortage of textbooks.

Against a requirement of 8.40 crore books for 1.31 crore children from classes 1 to 10, the Government has already made available 8.06 crore books throughout the State. V. Nageswara Rao, Director, Andhra Pradesh Government Textbook Press, said 5.80 crore free books were made available by the press while 1.20 crore books for sale to private schools were outsourced and kept ready. A backlog of 1.06 crore books lying in godowns of various districts would also be despatched. There was a shortage of workbooks but they were generally only required in July - August.

Additional burden

The demand for books has been met notwithstanding the decision of the State Government to supply them free of cost to children of all castes in classes 6 to 10 from this year. The Government has to bear the burden of distributing an additional 56 lakh books.

The policy till last year had been to supply books free of cost to children of all castes from classes 1 to 5 in Government, local body and aided schools. Children of SC, ST and backward class communities and physically handicapped children from classes 6 to 10 were also extended the benefit. The latest decision to include children of other castes from classes 6 to 10 in the free category has put an additional burden of Rs. 7 crore on the Government.

Re-circulation

Incidentally, students of classes 9 and 10 in Government institutions are supposed to hand over the books to their teachers at the end of the year for re-circulation among students of the succeeding batch. The Government had decided to re-circulate the books for a year every time they were released to the students.


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