3 months on, UP basic, upper primary students remain sans textbooks

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Lucknow, 13 July: Students of the UP government-run basic and upper primary schools have been without textbooks for three months. Despite the fact that the new academic session for government-run primary schools began on April 1, the education department has yet to distribute books to pupils in the state’s primary (classes I to V) and upper primary (classes VI to VIII) schools even as the first term exams are less than a month away.

According to basic education department figures, around 1.75 crore pupils are registered in 1.58 lakh primary and upper primary schools in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The state government set an April 30, deadline for department heads and publishers to assure book delivery to pupils. However, the latter failed to fulfill the deadline.

Brijesh Dixit, secretary of the primary teachers’ association, stated, “This is a state-wide problem. The books are not scheduled to arrive in schools until the first week of August, and the workbooks will arrive in the first week of September. The tendering procedure, which began on April 18, should have been concluded in December 2021, before the assembly elections, to ensure timely supplies. However, book delivery delays are not uncommon in Uttar Pradesh.”

Meanwhile, Mahesh Chand, additional director (basic education), stated, “The delivery of textbooks was delayed due to a delay in the printing process. We are working hard to guarantee that students receive their course books by the end of the month. Teachers were asked to gather old textbooks from students promoted to the next class and deliver them to students who entered their classrooms this session as a make-do arrangement until new books were available.”

A senior instructor, on the other hand, stated, “Because primary school pupils are extremely young, they do not take care of the books. We requested students to give their books to juniors, but the bulk of them are in bad shape. Authorities must guarantee that fresh books are distributed without delay’?