MSF to investigate book scarcity

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IMPHAL April 7: Manipuri Students`™ Federation (MSF) will launch a drive from April 9 onwards to check the availability of text books and also to oversee that books carry an authenticated hologram of the BSEM.

L Ibomcha, president of MSF in a press meet held at Konjeng Hajari Leikai told media persons that the students body in order to maintain a congenial educational atmosphere for the students launched a campaign titled `eikhoi lairik ningtheena tamshi`some time back. In pursuit of the campaign, it was decided to check the availability of school text books at the market.

It was found that stores were selling SSA books meant for free distribution and BSEM textbooks sans hologram. The books were confiscated from 12 stores and MSF had demanded a clarification from the BSEM authorities.

Further, a meeting was held today at Bengali High School and BSEM authorities ,MSF,AMSU,DESAM deliberated on the matter.

Board secretary L Rajmohan had clarified that the SSA text books were handed over by the BSEM to SSA authorities and it was their sole responsibility. He also made a contradictory remark that some BSEM books for class 9 do not carry the hologram (he had stated earlier that all books have holograms).

MSF in the regard appealed that the concerned SSA authorities should clarify how the books ended up for sale at the stores and further for BSEM to recover all text books from the market selling without holograms and return after pasting the holograms, the student body will launch a drive from April 9 onwards whether MSF demand has been implemented.The store owners and the BSEM will be held liable if the appeal is ignored, Ibomcha said.

He further stated that MSF believes that the printing presses and book stores may be working in collusion for extra profits from sale of SSA books and books published by BSEM without holograms. There are 62 printing presses sthat have orders for supply of textbooks and many media houses are also supplying the prescribed text books.

MSF directs the owners of Sindam Book House, Singjamei and Orient Book Depot,Paona Bazar to clarify how they were selling SSA textbooks and the source of the books within 5 days or the student body will decide to ban the stores from conducting business in future.

Meanwhile Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BOSEM) has issued an ultimatum to publishing firms who are responsible for printing textbooks prepared by it to submit by April 18 failing which it warned to take appropriate measures against the firm, as laid down under the contract, with effect from the following day of the deadline.

The ultimatum comes forth following confusion arising out of non-availability of books in the local market even as the academic session for the year 2011 had begun.

A press conference was held at the office of secretary of BOSEM. Speaking during the conference the secretary, L. Rajmohan, stated that the BOSEM has sent official intimation to the concerned publishing firms. He said that altogether 62 firms were provided with the task for publishing the books.

L. Rajmohan pointed out that the main problem faced at the moment is the non-availability for books especially from for class I till VIII.

He revealed that the BOSEM has prepared 106 textbooks under its syllabus of which 51 was newly prepared. The main crux is in getting about 38 books of the newly prepared 51 syllabus.

In the meantime, the secretary clarified that the BOSEM had failed tag its trademark hologram for class IX standards books and released it in the market due to some misunderstanding adding he informed that the books would be recollected from the respective dealers or stores for tagging its hologram.

While responding to queries raised by the media persons for the frequent shortcoming faced in getting books in time, the BOSEM secretary maintained the main factors was financial matters and some external disturbances. On the other hand, he clarified that the present situation has risen due to disruption of the administration for about two months however he failed to disclosed the cause of it.

Nevertheless L. Rajmohan assured that the BOSEM will try its level best to improve chronic instability within next year by bringing some changes in its policy.

The secretary also further clarified on matter of textbooks being sold illegally, books meant for distributing free of cost under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), in book store that was unearthed during a drive conducted by the Manipuri Students`™ Federation (MSF) yesterday stating that the BOSEM is not related with it. He maintained that the BOSEM had delivered all the necessary books to the SSA concerned.

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