No plan for printing 2023 textbooks?

Author - Editor
No plan for printing 2023 textbooks?

The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) has claimed that even though the printing of school textbooks for the next year should be completed by December of the previous year, the Ministry of Education has no plan yet to print the textbooks for the year 2023.

Speaking to The Morning, CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that according to the calculations that have been made by the Government, a sum of Rs. 16,000 million is needed for the printing of 32.8 million school textbooks. However, he said that the Ministry has not yet commenced the printing of textbooks, which should be completed by December this year.

“The printing of school textbooks should usually be finalised by December every year. When it comes to the printing of textbooks, Education Minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha has been saying that papers needed to print textbooks would be received under the Indian credit line. However, as far as we know, no paper has been received under the said credit line,” he said.

Speaking further, Stalin claimed that the Government is yet to take steps to allocate the required sum of Rs. 16 billion and print the textbooks. Instead, he charged that the Government is propagating through the Zonal Education Offices and schools that textbooks which are already in use would be used for the next year, in an attempt to avoid printing textbooks this year.

“What is this joke? This is a serious crime that the Government is committing against children’s education. If the Government can’t distribute textbooks on time and provide the children with meals, what is it doing? What is the purpose of having a Government if it can’t fulfill these very basic needs? One of the Government’s primary duties is to work for the betterment of the field of education, but the current Government is failing to do it,” he added.

Dr. Premajayantha was unavailable for comment on the matter.

The country’s education sector has seen a setback due to several reasons such as the Easter Sunday terror attacks of 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic situation, and the prevailing economic crisis. For all these reasons, schools islandwide were closed on several occasions and the relevant syllabi are yet to be covered properly. There are also reports that some schoolchildren have stopped attending schools as their families are unable to procure their needs such as food, clothes, stationery, and other school items.