Union demands direct procurement, timely distribution of school textbooks

ITANAGAR, Apr 5: The All Papum Pare District Students’ Union (APPDSU) demanded that school textbooks should be procured directly from the NCERT and the CBSE agency in order to avoid unnecessary expenditure by purchasing them from private publishers at rates three times higher.
The union on Thursday submitted RTI documents collected from the elementary and secondary education director to Education Minister Honchun Ngandam in his office chamber here.
Citing the documents, which cover the period between 2007 and 2008, the union accused the education department and the state government of neglecting the school students of Arunachal Pradesh by not regularly distributing textbooks since 2007-18.
The union demanded that the government ‘keep special fund provision for advance procurement of textbooks, so that the education department does not delay in placing orders.’
It informed the minister that textbooks reach schools only in the middle or the end of the academic sessions, and that subject textbooks are not distributed equitably among the districts.
It said the state government should ensure timely release of fund to the education department for procuring textbooks, so that the department may procure them directly from the NCERT and the CBSE agency.
The union also demanded that the minister initiate action against all the private firms and suppliers and the DDSEs responsible for the ‘textbook scandal’ in the state.
The APPDSU later claimed in a press release that the minister gave assurance that elementary and secondary education textbooks would be procured directly from the NCERT and the CBSE agency from this year onwards, and that no firm or contractor would be hired by the education department.