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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Tripura to give free text books to 14,000 Bengali medium students to ease lockdown woes

The state government has distributed free books to all Bengali medium private schools for classes 1 to 8 at an estimated cost of Rs 60 lakh.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Published: May 15, 2020 11:36:47 am
NCERT books, tripura, tripura test book store, stationary shops, education news As many as 75 private schools got benefited, earlier govt and govt-aided schools were given free books too (Representational image)

Tripura’s BJP-IPFT Government would distribute free textbooks, translated from NCERT curriculum, to 14,000 students studying in private Bengali medium schools of the state, education minister Ratan Lal Nath said. Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat, Nath said the decision was taken to aid students in 73 private Bengali medium schools who face troubles due to COVID-19 lockdown situation.

Read | How will schools function once lockdown is lifted? HRD Minister answers

Tripura has a demand of 25,37,107 textbooks between class 1 and class 8 in government and government-aided schools.

The state government had placed an order for 26,25,865 books this year, out of which 25,39,715 were received. The government has distributed nearly 25 lakh books to public schools through inspectors of schools; around 37,000 unit are pending distribution.

On why the extra units were ordered, the minister explained these are purchased by people who have difficulty finding books.
“We got NCERT textbooks translated into Bengali from class 1-12 by assigning our teachers to the job after our government assumed office. Usually, these books are purchased by private Bengali medium schools. We have decided to give these for free this year due to coronavirus lockdown situation”, the minister informed.

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He added that many of these school authorities requested the state government to provide books during lockdown crises, following which the decision was taken.

Some of these schools, which already purchased textbooks from the government, would be paid back through State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Nath said.

On why private English medium schools are not being extended the same courtesy, the education minister said many of them have adopted NCERT curriculum but do not use textbooks prescribed by them, rendering Tripura’s books redundant.

Read | Tripura may drop science, commerce streams in schools with low enrollment; starts survey

He later wrote in a post on his Facebook page, “In respect to the current Covid-19 pandemic, our government has decided to provide free books to all Bengali medium privately run schools (class 1 to 8).  There are approximately 73 schools with 14000 students. An estimated cost of Rs 60 lakh would be born by our government regarding this”.

Tripura currently has 4,398 government and government-aided schools apart from 335 private schools. Nearly 5 lakh students study in these schools across the state.

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