FAISALABAD: The education department is pressing hard private institutions to start the Single National Curriculum (SNC) for primary students, ignoring the facts that the books are still short in the market.

Punjab Teachers Union Central President Hafiz Ghulam Mohayudin said the District Education Authority (DEA) officials could not ensure implementation of SNC due to unavailability of books and reluctant private school chains.

He said the school chains were not allowing even senior officials of the education authority to enter their campuses.

A head of a private school said the authority had asked them to implement the SNC but the parents were not ready to spend even a penny on the new books before the start of new session. She said they tried to find a way to facilitate the parents and follow the instructions of the authority but to no avail.

Books shortage, reluctant private schools major reasons

Elaborating, she said they tried to arrange SNC books from the market and started teaching with the help of photocopies so that parents could be spared from the burden of buying new books. Ironically, she said, all books were not available but the authority was threatening to seal their school.

Ayesha, mother of a girl student of class three at a private school, said they were already facing financial issues due to unbridled inflation and purchase of new books before the end of the session would burden them further. She said they had asked the school administration to start new syllabus with the help of notes.

She said the single curriculum was a good step but the government must ensure books availability before the start of the new session. “This curriculum will also check the blackmail by the private institutions.”Ikram, a book seller of Aminpur Bazaar--main market of the city for all sorts of books, stationery, uniforms etc-- said he did not know when all SNC books would be available in the market. He said a majority of the private schools were not in favour of the SNC which would reduce their income through sale of books at inflated prices.

He said a committee must be formed to look into the entire issues of the SNC from books to its implementation.

PTU’s Hafiz Mohayudin said the books shortage issue would not be resolved soon as the PTB was getting them published from private printers. “These publishers are reluctant to print required number of books to avoid financial losses as no body knows when the government will fall.”

He said the publishers had faced losses as the government did not distribute free books which it got printed from them.

The chief executive officer of the District Education Authority Muhammad Ali Siyyan was contacted for his comments through messages but he did not reply.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2021

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