Monday July 04, 2022

School dept fails to implement new academic session

May 22, 2022

THE SCHOOL EDUCATION Department’s failure to ensure uniformity for the start of academic session in Punjab has led to a number of problems for students and their parents with unavailability of textbooks in the market emerging as their biggest nightmare.

In March last year, the School Education Department (SED) Punjab notified the academic session for all the public and private schools in the province for the year 2021-2022 from August 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. However, in January this year, SED Punjab extended academic year from March 31, 2022 to May 31, 2022 with clear direction that next academic session for the year 2022-2023 will be observed from August 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

The notification was meant to be followed by all government and private schools across the province so that a uniformity could be achieved for academic session. Nonetheless, many private schools and some autonomous institutions of the Punjab government such as Divisional Public School (DPS) started new academic session from mid April. Since the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board (PCTB) has to follow the SED Punjab, many of the textbooks are either completely unavailable in the market or there is severe shortage adding to the woes of the students who are already braving sizzling hot weather amid prolonged power outages.

This is a perfect example of widespread apathy among those at the helm as after issuing the notification the Schools Department proved to be completely indifferent to the situation and did not bother to take measures to implement its own order. On the other hand, private schools which have started observing new academic session in mid April are in a fix as not all the textbooks are available in the market especially those published by the PCTB.

Among many others, new editions of the PCTB textbooks for Chemistry, Mathematics and Islamiat for Class-9 are not available in the market. Similarly, fearing any possible change in the content of the textbooks many bookshops are not buying old edition textbooks from the main market. As annual summer vacation are just around the corner, parents and teachers have urged the government to take notice of the situation and ensure supply of new textbooks in the market at the earliest. Otherwise, they say unavailability of the textbooks during summer break could cause great academic loss to the students enrolled in private schools who have already started following new academic session.

On the other hand, one wonders what academic activities have been planned for students of public schools where academic session would begin from August 1. Keeping in view the SED Punjab notification and upcoming annual summer vacation it is obvious that these kids would be without assignments for next classes in the upcoming summer break.