Students question govt for failure to distribute books

ITANAGAR, Mar 25: The All Papum Pare District Students’ Union (APPDSU) has questioned the state government over its failure to distribute elementary education level textbooks.
The union said RTI documents obtained by it show that no textbooks were supplied in the 2014-15 academic session due to unavailability of fund. It claimed that during 2015-16, the education department directly hired three private firms – TY Traders, Sunrise Trading Agency, and KT Traders – for procuring 7,00,300 textbooks for the elementary education level in the state, but that payment was not made due to unavailability of fund.
‘However, Changlang, Namsai, Upper Siang, West Siang, Tawang, Tirap, Kra Daadi and Siang districts did not receive any textbooks,’ the APPDSU stated in a press release.
Kurung Kumey, Papum Pare, East Kameng, Capital Complex (P/P), Upper Subansiri, East Siang, Longding, West Kameng, Lower Subansiri, Tezu, Roing, Anini and Anjaw received only 2,63,273 textbooks, with a shortfall of 4,37,027 textbooks, it said.
The union claimed that 4,37,027 textbooks were not distributed to the students from Class 1 to Class 8 in Arunachal Pradesh in the 2015-16 academic session, even though the fund had been released.
In 2016-17, textbooks were yet again not supplied due to non-allotment of fund, and in the 2017-18 academic session, the status read that textbook supply to government schools was under process, it said.
‘Students of the 2017-18 academic session have already taken their final examination, which meant that students of the elementary education went to school in the last academic session without textbooks again,’ it said.
It added that the department did not reply whether the state government has sanctioned any fund for the procurement of textbooks for the elementary education level for the 2018-19 academic session.
Also citing the lack of Sanskrit teachers, the APPDSU said that procuring Sanskrit textbooks was, in the circumstances, a waste of central and state funds.
‘The state government could have judiciously utilized Rs 30 crore for the procurement of textbooks and other facilities for both elementary and secondary education, instead of rushing and introducing smart classes last year,’ it said.