Minister launches free distribution of books
By Express News Service - BHUBANESWAR
08th December 2012 02:09 PM
The Textbook Production and Marketing (TBPM) under the School and Mass Education (SME) Department has started a ‘Book Distribution Day’ for the academic session 2013-14 to ensure that all the students get their textbooks in time.
Mass Education Minister Rabi Narayan Nanda launched the free distribution of the textbooks for classes I to VIII on Wednesday.
Speaking about the problem of books not reaching the students in time, TBPM Director Sanjay Kumar Pramanik said, “Though our in-house textbooks are ready on time, on occasions the textbooks that we have outsourced get delayed in reaching us.
Another major problem is that at times the textbooks do not reach the teachers in time.” One of the reasons why the teachers delay collecting textbooks from the Block Resource Centres (BRCs) is shortage of storage space in their schools.
“This year the department Commissioner has issued an order where it has been mentioned that the textbooks should reach the BRCs within seven days of completion of the printing process,” informed Pramanik. “This year, we are hopeful that the textbooks will reach the students either by next February or March since the academic session starts in April,” said Pramanik. TBPM also has 60 centres across the State where it provides the textbooks for the private schools like Saraswati Sishu Mandir, at half the price.
The TBPM supplies textbooks to five other states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. “We had modernised our press last year and this year we are planning to produce around 60 lakh textbooks in comparison to the 14.66 lakh produced last year,” said Pramanik. Around ` 65 crore will be spent for the production of the textbooks, out of which the Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) provides ` 45 crore and the State Government will provide ` 20 crore.
OPEPA provides funds under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Though on the one hand TBPM is aiming to increase its in-house production, Pramaik mentions that many of their printing machines have become obsolete and are in urgent need of replacement.
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