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JEMC buys raw paper at Rs. 100 per kg, auctions books at Rs. 10 per kg



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By Manjima Dhakal

Kathmandu, Mar : 1 Believe it or not, the Janak Education Materials Centre (JEMC) that draws flak every year for failing to print the required number of school textbooks fails to sell around four million books annually.
Also it has to auction a large stock of the textbooks as waste products every year.
When the textbooks printed for the previous year remain in its stock and become useless after the Curriculum Development Centre of the government revises the curricula in particular classes, it has no option but to sell the leftover textbooks as waste products, the JEMC, a public corporation and authorised printing organisation of the government, said.
The JEMC has been facing the problem when it becomes unable to sell the textbooks it prints as per the number of students provided by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Chitra Acharya, spokesperson of the JEMC, said the centre had been printing textbooks as per the government-published flash report of education, but around four million books remain in its stock every year. Therefore, the textbooks of particular grades go to waste every year after the curricula of the grade gets revised, Acharya said.
This year, the government has introduced new curricula for Grade One. Likewise, the government has introduced colour textbooks for grade Six, Seven and Eight. Therefore, all the textbooks of these grades, which are in stock, are in a process to be auctioned.
“This is 100 per cent loss for the institution and the Ministry does not compensate us in such a condition too,” Acharya said.
According to Acharya, average price of one kg raw paper without adding the tax is Rs. 100 while the obsolete books are sold at Rs. 10 per kg.
Lekh Nath Poudel, Director General of Curriculum Development Center said latest flash report of the government was factual. Therefore, there is no problem as earlier.
Likewise, Poudel claimed the JEMC had been printing less number of textbooks than the number given in flash report of the Ministry. So, JEMC is not likely to face stock problems in coming years.
Meanwhile, the JEMC informed that all public schools students across the country would get the textbooks with the beginning of the new academic session.
Talking to The Rising Nepal, Acharya said that out of 21 million required textbooks, they had already printed 14 million textbooks and dispatched them to all nine regional offices of the JEMC.
“The JEMC is required to print about six million textbooks in next 45 days. And now, it has been printing 120,000 textbooks a day. So, the JEMC can print all required textbooks in time,” Acharya added.
According to him, the centre is now printing only colour textbooks of Grade Six, Seven and Eight. It has already finished printing the textbooks of other classes.
Responding to the news report that the textbooks are not available in the western Himalayan districts, Acharya said though the textbooks have already reached the local distributors, some schools have not come to receive the books because they are closed due to snowfall there.
New academic session in those districts begins in the Nepali month of Falgun (mid-February) and ends in Kartik (mid-October) because of extreme cold in the winter season.