Kerala books society gets in-principle nod to print second volume without SCERT director name
The Kerala Books and Publications Society (KBPS) on Friday received the government go-ahead, in verbal, to start printing the second volume of textbooks without bearing the name of the director of the
KOCHI: The Kerala Books and Publications Society (KBPS) on Friday received the government go-ahead, in verbal, to start printing the second volume of textbooks without bearing the name of the director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).
The government’s move to remove the SCERT director’s name came following a Page 1 ‘Express’ report titled ‘Not by the govt text. And it costs the state exchequer `1.3 crore’ in its June 2 editions. The report highlighted how the government’s adamant stand on reprinting textbooks after removing the name of former SCERT director P A Fathima, a UDF sympathiser, and updating it with the name of the new SCERT director led to dumping of over 13 lakh textbooks and a loss of `1.3 crore to the state exchequer.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the Education Minister permitting us to print the textbooks without the SCERT director’s name so that the buffer stock can be used for next academic year, too. We got a positive verbal response from the minister to our request. No official order has been issued though.
We hope the minister will do so soon,” said KBPS managing director Tomin J Thachankary said. Last year’s buffer stock comprised over 25 lakh textbooks, of which 12 lakh books could not be used as the government decided to split them into three volumes. Though the remaining 13 lakh books could have been distributed this year, the KBPS was forced to discard them and print new copies as they carried Fathima’s name.
When contacted, Education Minister C Raveendranath said a final decision on the matter will be taken only after consultations with the officers concerned. “We will discuss the matter and take a final decision,” said Raveendranath. He said most of the buffer stock had to be discarded after the government decided to split the textbooks into three volumes. KBPS officers at Kakkanad said the printing of the second volumes of books would begin only after getting the SCERT’s nod.
“We need to print around 4 crore books for the present academic year. We can change the SCERT director’s name from the books only with the SCERT’s approval. We are currently printing only the covers of the textbooks. Full-fledged printing of books will begin after the doubts are cleared,” said a top officer of KBPS.
The government was adamant on reprinting textbooks after removing the name of former SCERT director P A Fathima, who is learnt to be a sympathiser of the UDF, and updating it with the name of the new SCERT director. This led to dumping of over 13 lakh textbooks and a loss of D1.3 crore to the state exchequer.