The Punjab education department will start supplying the text books for the academic session 2019-20, which begins on April 1, from the third week of this month (February).
This comes as the department doesn’t want a repeat of 2017-18 academic year, when the students in the government schools could not get the complete set of books even till the end of the session. Last year, (2018-19) too, several schools got the supply several months late and funds had to be released to the school authorities to get the books photocopied.
All the principals, headmasters, district education officers (DEOs) and circle education officers (CEOs) have been directed to create ‘book banks’ in all the government and aided schools to collect and keep previous session’s books from the students, which could be reused in the coming academic session and be provided to students immediately.
The Director General School Education (DGSE), in an order issued February 8, said that the supply of books for the students of Classes 1 to 12 will begin at block level from third week of this month. The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), which is getting the books printed, had earlier sought the exact number of students in government and aided schools so that adepquate num,ber of books could be supplied. In the past, some blocks reported a huge difference between the books supplied and total number of students.
The order further said that from block level, it would be the responsibility of the district authorities to timely supply the books to schools.
The district and school authorities have also been directed to provide the information about the students who want to pursue the session in English medium. Classes in English medium was launched in several schools in the current academic session.
They have also been asked to upload the information about the books required for elective subjects such as drawing, agriculture etc.
There are nearly 20,000 government schools in Punjab, including nearly 13,000 primary schools, 4000 high schools and remaining the senior secondary schools. Nearly 25 lakh students are enrolled in these schools, mostly in elementary classes (from classed 1 to 8). Punjab government provides free books to all students from Classes 1 to 8 in all state run schools while SC/ST students of Class 9 and 10 too get free books. The students of senior secondary classes get books for computers free of cost.
“For the past some years, books were being provided quite late due to which studies were nbadly affected,” said a teacher of a government middle school in Jalandhar, adding that there are 350 different text books which are provided by the government.
PSEB, which had been publishing these books since its inception in 1969, was debarred from the same last session because of the delay in supply of books for 2017-18 session. However, this time the PSEB is back at the job.
DGSE Parshant Kumar Goyal said that they are hopeful that the books will reach the schools before the beginning of the new session.