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Assam school students get free textbooks worth Rs 112 crore

“The government has also initiated steps to provide free textbooks in certain subjects to students of Class XI and XII from the current academic year,” Hemanta Biswa Sarma informed.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati |
Updated: January 12, 2018 6:42:43 am
Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister for Education, Health and Finance (Assam), at Idea Exchange. (Express photo by Cheena Kapoor)

The BJP-led government in Assam has distributed more than 3 crore textbooks to government school students till Class X incurring a total cost of Rs 111.98 crore, the state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday called this the largest programme undertaken in any state of the country.

“We have provided all textbooks free to every student studying in government schools right from Ka-shreni to Class X, and every student could start attending the new academic session from Monday with all the books in hand. This is a sort of a record for any state in the country,” Sarma said.

The government, he said had incurred a total expenditure of Rs 111.98 crore in printing and providing the textbooks, which have been prepared and printed in as many as 17 languages for schools that impart education in nine different mediums across Assam. Sarma was speaking at a function here to formally hand over the textbooks to a few students on Thursday.

“The government has also initiated steps to provide free textbooks in certain subjects to students of Class XI and XII from the current academic year,” he informed. The government would soon extend supply of free uniforms to students from the existing Class VIII to Class XII, Sarma said.

The minister said that several private schools had shut down across the state after parents had started shifting their wards to government schools where textbooks and uniforms are provided for free by the government. “This is a good sign. We need to further improve the standard of government schools,” he said.

While the government spent Rs 77.19 crore for providing 2.13 crore copies of textbooks to students from Ka-shreni (the entry-level Class in primary schools) to Class VII, a little over Rs 27.83 crore were spent for providing 92.17 lakh copies of textbooks to students of Class IX and X, said the minister. The government also spent Rs 6.96 crore for printing and supply of 27.56 lakh textbooks under the Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti.

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