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BSE makes a mess of textbook printing

Cuttack:Students aiming to write Class X (Matriculation) examination under Odisha Board in 2014 are a worried lot. Even as the new academic session began about a fortnight ago, students are yet to get their hands on the textbooks for they are not available in the market.

The Board of Secondary Education (BSE), which has the sole authority to design the course, print the textbooks and conduct the examinations, has not yet printed the textbooks.

The Board this year decided to change the Class X syllabus and accordingly introduced as many as 17 titles of book.

It was also decided that the Board would print at least four lakh books in each title and the textbooks should have been on the bookstands at least two months before the commencement of the new academic session in April.

It has already been two weeks into April and not a single book is available in the market. Students wishing to write the Matriculation examination in 2014 have already lost a fortnight and as it appears all titles of the books may not reach the students during summer vacation, rued a teacher here.

The Board on the other hand claims that they have procured sufficient number of books in at least ten titles and remaining are in the pipeline. Board authorities are hoping that by April 20 all the textbooks for class X would be available with the dealers.

We have with us at least three lakh copies each of ten titles and a little over two lakh copies of another four titles. Other textbooks are in the process of printing and they would be available in the market by April 20, said BSE president D P Nanda.

He also added that distribution of available books have already started and hoped that copies of each title are with the students before the onset of summer vacation.

But the teachers, parents, guardians and book dealers are not prepared to buy the explanation of Board authorities saying that the Board has not printed sufficient number of textbooks this year and most of the books would be sold at a premium in the market for short supply.

Four lakh books in each title would be inadequate as over six lakh students have enrolled themselves in class X this year across the State, said another school teacher alleging that printing fewer books than required would encourage hoarding by the book dealers thereby leading to black-marketing.

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