Shortage of textbooks attributed to drastic spike in school enrolments

Number of students joining government schools surpassed all expectations: official

March 08, 2021 01:08 am | Updated 01:08 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

Owing to the slew of initiatives taken up in the school education sector, over six lakh students have enrolled themselves in the government and government-aided schools this year, and this overwhelming response has resulted in the shortage of textbooks that are printed based on the 2019-20 data with 5% buffer, Principal Secretary, School Education, B. Rajasekhar, has said.

Addressing the media on Sunday, Mr. Rajasekhar appealed to the students and parents not to buy the textbooks from outside, as they would be ready in 15 days.

He said the welfare schemes and incentives introduced as part of reforms in school education had resulted in a drastic increase in the number of students migrating from private to the government schools. The shifting had started in November and continued through February, even after schools reopened, he said.

Mr. Rajasekhar said the printing of textbooks and workbooks was completed by April last with a 5% buffer. “But the spike in the number of students joining government schools has surpassed all expectations,” he added.

Following a recent meeting of the representatives of the School Education Department and officials of the government printing section, ₹7 crore was sanctioned for printing of the required number of textbooks and workbooks to be supplied to 4,11,427 students who shifted to the government schools after November.

‘Indent based on 2019-20 data’

The indent for printing of textbooks for the academic year 2020-21 was prepared based on the Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) data related to the academic year 2019-20.

As per the data on September 30, 2019, a total of 38,97,156 students had enrolled in the government and government-aided schools.

Since the number was expected to rise due to the welfare schemes, books were printed for 40,92,014 students with a 5% buffer stock, he said.

The printing was done by April last, and the books were sent to the district depots by May 31. But schools could not be started till November 2 due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The 40,84,983 admissions as on November 3 jumped to 43,89,952 by December 19, which was 2,97,938 more than the expected.

The number of student enrolments further went up to 45,03,441 as on March 6, said Mr. Rajasekhar.

Director, School Education, Vadrevu Chinaveerabhadrudu, was among others present.

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