Students of private, govt. schools yet to get textbooks for several subjects, say teachers

Over 20 days have passed since schools reopened in the State, but textbooks are yet to be made available for several subjects in private and government schools.

This year, the School Education Department has revised the syllabus for Classes II to V, VII, VIII, X and XII.

School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan recently attributed the delay in making textbooks to the revised syllabus. Incidentally, the revised syllabus is what is raising concerns among teachers.

“We cannot expect all students to be able to afford print-outs and photocopies from copies of textbooks downloaded from website. Teachers are using them for now and they are managing to study with the notes taken in class. At least for students of Classes X and XII, the textbooks should be distributed at the earliest,” said K.P.O. Suresh, president of the Tamil Nadu Postgraduate Teachers Association, who teaches chemistry.

He said that several government schools in Madurai and neighbouring districts were yet to get the free textbooks for most classes.

“When we contact the local officials about the distribution, there is a lack of clarity in their replies,” he added. The headmaster of a middle school in Sivaganga district said that majority of the schools had not received textbooks yet.

“Most of the middle schools have received textbooks only for Class VIII. In some schools, for Class V, we have got volume I which has Tamil and English, but not Volume II, which has the remaining subjects,” he said.

Languages bear the brunt

Teachers handling languages such as French, Sanskrit and German said that books for classes XI and XII were yet to be made available.

“A few books were sold over the counter at the Directorate of Public Instructions campus and some students managed to get them. In districts, however, we are not even able to register and place an order for the same,” said A. Chandrasekaran, French teacher and secretary, Indian Association of Teachers of French, from Erode.

The retail outlet run by Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation witnesses considerable turnout every day with parents coming from far away places to buy textbooks.

Before the start of the academic year, the TN Students Parents Welfare Association submitted an appeal to the School Education Department asking for books to be made available at the earliest.

“This has not been prioritised and we’ve been receiving complaints from parents of students in Classes IV, V and VI about non-availability,” said S. Arumainathan, association president.

Online portal

When contacted, a senior official from the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation said that from their side, all the textbooks had been despatched to the designated officials for most of the districts.

“Education department officials will have to coordinate and ensure that the distribution is done. We have already spoken to them about this and have also made the online portal accessible for registrations by private schools to procure books,” she said.

Parents and teachers have further been asked to contact the corporation to inform them if a textbook is not in stock, she added.

(With inputs by Pon Vasanth B.A.)

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