KOCHI: Even as the academic year is well into the half-way stage, the distribution of volume three of the textbooks of classes I to X is getting delayed. Besides, schools point out a disparity in demand and supply.
According to school authorities, the government had declared that the distribution of textbooks will begin on November 11. “But it got delayed following some issues related to the clearance of the expenses incurred by the distributors for the previous volumes of textbooks,” said V K Ajith of Kerala Pradesh School Teachers’ Association (KSPTA).
“Besides the delay in the distribution of textbooks, another issue faced by the schools is the disparity in the demand and supply,” he said. According to him, some schools which had ordered around 100 textbooks received only 60 or 70 of them. According to him, the KPSTA had made a representation to the director-general of education regarding the matter. “He assured us that it was a minor issue which will be dealt with at the earliest.
However, we think the entire goof-up must have happened during the calculation of the orders placed,” he said. However, K J Harikumar, president, Kerala School Teachers’ Association (KSTA), said, “Not all schools had to face such a situation. The majority of schools in many districts received the right number of textbooks. Of course, some schools reported a shortage in districts like Malappuram.
According to him, the disparity comes when the official intend given by the school differs from the actual strength of the school. “In many places, a lot of schools defy the ratio of Malayalam medium to English medium in favour of the latter to attract more students. The actual ratio as per the rules is 2:1. However, the ratio has been illegally tampered with by the school managements,” said Harikumar.
Hence, as per the official data, the number of students in the English medium might be less than the actual strength, he added. “In that case, that many students fail to get textbooks.” An official with the Kerala Books and Publications Society refuted these allegations. According to him, the distribution of textbooks has just started and the society has not received any complaints about a difference in demand and supply.