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Primary schools to get textbooks this week: FDE.

ISLAMABAD -- Students of all public sector primary schools have been waiting for textbooks for around three weeks.

The academic session in the schools started on April 10 but because of the changes to the syllabus and a litigation issue, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) could not place orders with the publishers on time to ensure the supply of books at the start of the session.

However, FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi on Sunday told Dawn that the supply of books would be ensured this week (starting on Monday).

'Out of the total four, two trucks of textbooks have reached a few days ago and the books have been placed at the distribution centres from where the supply to schools has started. In a next few days, the remaining two trucks will also arrive.'

He said this year the FDE could not issue orders to the publishers on time as the government wanted to introduce a new syllabus. Some of the publishers then approached the court.

'When the court ruled in favour of the government, we immediately placed orders for the books. There will be no further delay and we will ensure the supply of the books to all schools this week,' he said.

When the new academic session started, the students of over 190 schools were surprised to know that the supply of their books had been delayed. Sources said so far only Islamiat books of class three and four had been supplied to schools from the centres.

After finalising a new curriculum for primary education, the education ministry had advertised to hire services of authors for writing the books.

But the authors who were already engaged with the National Book Foundation (NBF) to write the textbooks challenged the education ministry's in court and obtained a stay order. Recently, the court decided the matter in favour of the education ministry.

Following this, the FDE placed orders for the books. The FDE in September had placed orders with the NBF for the supply of books to students of class six to 10.

The books have been supplied to almost all the high and middle schools.

The federal government has been providing free textbooks to the students for many years but the books never reach them on time until 2016.

Even in 2014-15, students got some of the textbooks after the summer vacations.

However, for the last a few years, the situation has seen an improvement and the books are supplied on time.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 30, 2018
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