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Textbook turmoil | Students struggle, BOSE falters, academics hit

12:52 AM Apr 18, 2024 IST | Syed Rizwan Geelani
textbook turmoil   students struggle  bose falters  academics hit
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Srinagar, Apr 17 : Three weeks into the new academic session, the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) has come under severe criticism for its failure to supply textbooks, impacting the students enrolled in government and private schools.

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The new academic session for 2024-25 has already commenced in all the schools from April 1, 2024.

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However, the non-availability of BOSE-prescribed textbooks in the market has put parents and students in distress.

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Parents from various districts of Kashmir complained about the unavailability of BOSE-prescribed textbooks saying that the authorities had left the students at the receiving end.

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The complaints from both government and private schools come at a time when the BOSE has ordered all the private schools to use recommended books in the schools for all classes.

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The decision was taken to have a common curriculum in schools.

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The booksellers have also echoed the parents’ concerns and said that the BOSE textbooks are not available in the market.

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“We didn’t get an adequate supply of textbooks, which is the primary reason for the shortage of textbooks. Despite placing orders, we didn’t receive the required textbooks,” a bookseller said.

The shortage of textbooks has led to uncertainty and frustration among the stakeholders who accused the BOSE authorities of its failure to meet the expectations of the students.

“Previous years too, BOSE failed to supply textbooks to government schools on time. And this year they claimed to cater to the requirement of private schools but have failed miserably to keep the textbooks available in the market,” said Muhammad Ishfaq, a parent from Kupwara.

Amid the claims earlier made by the BOSE to deliver textbooks based on UDISE data to all government and private schools, the lack of preparedness in delivering textbooks has left many students in limbo.

Abdul Rashid, a local shopkeeper from Kupwara expressed his concern about the recurring issue of textbook shortages every year, attributing it to bureaucratic challenges within BOSE.

“While the government banned the private schools from prescribing textbooks from private publishers, adequate textbooks are not available in the market. The Education Department should first set its own house in order and later interfere in the academic matters of private schools,” said Zahoor Ahmad, an aggrieved parent whose two kids are enrolled in a private school in north Kashmir.

The parents lamented the disruption in the education of their children due to shortage of textbooks and questioned the efficiency of the Education Department, particularly BOSE for its failure to keep textbooks available and ensure a smooth academic transition in schools.

The stakeholders expressed concern over the shortage of textbooks and said that post shifting of academic session from November to March, the number of working days has already decreased and the delay in the availability of textbooks has worsened the situation.

“The session started in April and will culminate in November end. The government should have stocked the textbooks in schools on time,” said a lecturer wishing not to be named.

Director Academics BOSE, Sudhir Singh told Greater Kashmir that all the textbooks were available in the market except a few titles which would be made available in two to four days.

“There are three categories. In the first category, titles were available but were sold out. After getting more demand for these books, we keep ordering them,” Singh said. “In the second category, some titles of textbooks were new editions, which are being ordered and delivered accordingly.”

“In the third category, titles of textbooks are ordered as per routine,” he said.

However, Singh said that in case there is any shortage of textbooks or a crisis, the issue would be resolved within two to four days.

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