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Shortage of NCERT textbooks in Bihar leave students and parents high and dry

Just as the new academic session of the schools of the capital city has commenced from the first week of April, the NCERT books have gone out of shelves from the local book stores.

WT24 Desk

Barely had they tide over the strenuous phase of admission, students and their parents are in for yet another uphill task –to arrange the books, particularly those published by the NCERT, The Hindustan Times reports.

Just as the new academic session of the schools of the capital city has commenced from the first week of April, the NCERT books have gone out of shelves from the local book stores.

As per the new central board of school education (CBSE) guideline, it is mandatory for all schools to implement NCERT books from class 6 to 12th. However, the NCERT still does not seem to be ready inventory, resulting in an acute shortage of books for the students.

The scarcity of NCERT books in the city has landed the students and parents in a very difficult situation. They keep on making rounds of the book stores every day, but usually return disappointed only with an assurance by the retailers for availability of books next week.

The crisis of original NCERT textbooks is not a new issue students are grappling with. “The shortage of books crops up every year because they are not supplied in proportion to the demands. We can’t punish the students for not bringing books as we know NCERT books are currently unavailable in the market. In the classroom, students share the books with each other but it is difficult to assign homework”, said Kanak Sharma, TGT teacher of Baldwin Academy.

Shalini Kumari, Class 9 student of Kendriya Vidayala, said that she bought Mathematics book which was pirated version of NCERT. Though the book appeared similar at one glance later she identified a lot of factual errors and inaccurate content in the book.

M K Sinha, Manager of Gyan Ganga bookshop located at Boring Road, says “Currently we are facing a serious shortage of Mathematics and Science books of class 6th, 7th and 8th. We place continuous order to maintain stock and we got stockpiled up last month which is over by now. In a couple of days, we will procure new stock but still, there is no guarantee of availability of all the books of each class because supply is done as per NCERT inventory. Even after placing an order we don’t get the assurance of delivery”. Majority of the students buy the NCERT books before the beginning of the new session and thus there is a peak in shortage after the opening of schools, added Sinha.

I have visited bookshops 6 times in the past 10 days for getting Chemistry book, but every time I just get another waiting period. I have photocopied 2 chapters from my friend’s book but this alternative will not work for a longer period as NCERT books remain out of the stock even for 6 months said Rahul Sinha, class 10 student of St. Karen’s secondary school.

“I bought an old edition of accountancy book from a book shop after a long wait. But now pattern and syllabus have been changed. So I will have to buy a new edition when it comes to market and hence incur more expenditure,” Shanu Kumar , Class XII of Scholars Abode, laments.

Every day after office I pay a visit to small and big bookshops on my way to check for Science and Mathematics book but the retailers ask to wait for few more days or offer lifted Edition, said Sunil Verma, whose son studies in class 8.

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