Students of private schools and their parents on Tuesday voiced protest over non-availability of textbooks in the market and enormous increase in the cost of books.
According to media reports, the students said that despite the commencement of the new academic session the books have not been made available in the market. Moreover, the prices of the available books have been increased drastically.
The cost of Urdu book for 5th standard has been increased from Rs100 to Rs205 and this cost has been scaled up by 105 per cent. The cost of English book has been raised from Rs105 to Rs192 and Mathematics from Rs120 to Rs192.
The price of Social studies book has been enhanced from Rs80 to Rs145 and Islamiyat book from Rs85 to Rs125.
The students said that no change in syllabus has been made and only the price of books has been changed on upward side.
The teachers have also condemned the step taken by the government for awarding contract of publishing text books to private sector. The syllabus has also not been uploaded on the website, they said.
On April 8, the students of the low-cost private schools in Islamabad had also staged a protest along with their teachers and parents outside the National Book Foundation (NBF) premises against the delay in the publication of textbooks.
The protest was staged on the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of the NBF Kitab Mela organised by the Private Schools Network (PSN), which represents the low-cost private schools.
The students of grade one to grade five held placards and shouted slogans against the NBF and said they wanted textbooks and not book fairs.
PSN president Dr Afzal Babur, who led the protest, said on one hand the NBF spent millions of rupees to hold book fairs every year and even ensures that the fair is not delayed while on the other, it doesn’t print textbooks for months adding to the misery of the students, mostly of poor backgrounds.
Private schools announce summer vacations from June 08
All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) has assured the secretary schools education Punjab that private schools will implement the decision for starting summer vacations from June 8.
According to media reports, private schools will collect fee from the students on monthly basis during summer vacations.
The students have also expressed grave concern over hike in prices of text books saying that the new prices of the books have spiralled out of reach of poor parents, said APPSMA Rawalpindi division president Ibrar Khan while addressing a ceremony in a private college.