Tests begin, textbooks missing
Schools in Madhya Pradesh are set to hold periodical tests, but NCERT textbooks for several subjects and classes are not available in shops although the new session began four months ago.
"New books for Hindi, maths, environmental studies, English, Sanskrit, science, social studies and history have been recommended for Classes I, III, VI, IX and XI due to the changed syllabi, but hardly any of these books are available in the market," lamented Nirmala Nair, a school principal.
Nair added that even teachers did not have some of these books. "How can we teach children without books? Had the syllabus been the same, children could have at least arranged second-hand books," said Laxmi Sharma, a teacher. Complained the father of a student: "The syllabus keeps changing every year but books are never available when the new session begins."
"Almost 95 per cent of the new books are yet to arrive. Students and parents come to ask for these books daily but we are helpless," said Pradeep Kumar, a bookseller.
According to another bookseller, Bhushan Tripathi, textbooks should have arrived in Bhopal by March 15, since the new term began on April 1. "Books of almost all subjects for Classes IX and XI are not available. There is also a huge shortage of social studies books for all classes," he added.
All the schools following the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus use textbooks published by the NCERT.