Karnataka: E-classes near restart, books yet to be printed | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Government and private schools following the state board will resume online classes from July 1, but the education department is yet to finalise the tender for printing textbooks.
According to the department of public instruction, the tender will be finalised in a couple of days. It will take a maximum of 100 days to print all textbooks. “But we will not wait till it gets completed. We will start distribution by mid-August. By August-end or September, we hope to complete 50 per cent of the distribution,” said commissioner V Anbukumar. “We will also speed up the printing.”
Officials insist learning won’t be affected. “Students need not worry. The first month will be a bridge course, in which teachers will revise the previous year’s portions and fill the gaps. Soft copies of the textbooks will be available,” Anbukumar said.
According to the department, the lockdown has been a hurdle. “There is no huge delay, but some delay cannot be denied. Since the tender is above Rs 100 crore, the process is longer; it has its own time frame. Lockdown may have delayed it by 10 days,” the commissioner said.
The Karnataka Textbook Society (KTBS) has written to block education officers, asking them to collect books in good condition from last year’s students and preserve them. “This is for the book bank. We collect books every year for school libraries, and students can use them when needed,” said Made Gowda, managing director, KTBS. “This year, gram panchayat libraries have asked for a set of books. Old ones will not be resupplied to students; we don’t need to. There are no problems with the supply of books.”
Educators are not happy about the printing delay. “Getting textbooks late is a ritual now. Every year, we have the same problem. In rural areas, textbooks are the only learning resource for students. With regular school classes not expected soon, children will not be able to have learning continuity without textbooks,” said Niranjanaradhya VP, senior fellow, Centre for Child and Law, NLSIU.
He added that the delay could be used to produce textbooks that address the learning loss students faced the last year. “But it may be too late for the department to think on these lines now,” he said.

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Sagar Biswas

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