Gujarat Government hikes price of first language textbook for primary schools

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Government today increased the prices of first language textbook of primary schools of five mediums except Gujarati, officials said. "We have revised the price of first language textbook of five mediums -- English, Hindu, Urdu, Sindhi, and Marathi in standard one to five due to heavy printing cost," Chief of the Gujarat State School Textbook Board (GSSTB) Nitin Pethani told PTI.

The decision to increase the price has been taken after around ten years by the GSSTB while the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) revises the price every two to three years, Pethani claimed.

However, the state has not introduced price-hike in other books like maths or science, but the revised rates will be effected upon the first language books only, he said.

After the hike, the entire set of books of standard one has now reached to Rs 158 this year from Rs 61 of last year, while a entire set of standard two textbooks will now be available at Rs 131 instead of Rs 61 of the previous year.

Similarly, price of textbooks set for standard three has increased upto Rs 185 from Rs 78 of last year and price for fourth standard textbooks set has have gone up to Rs 199 in comparison to Rs 111 last year. The price of entire set of fifth standard books is now Rs 170 as compared to Rs 71 last year.

The government's move has drawn a flak from opposition Congress. "The Gujarat government has today introduced a massive price rise in textbook. Books are provided free of cost under Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan," Congress leader Manish Doshi said. "The state government is known for giving subsidies to big industrial houses, so why concession is not given to our middle-class students," he said.

The government should help middle-class students to buy textbooks rather than spending money on state-organised extravaganzas like 'Shala Praveshotsav', said Doshi. 'Shala Pravestosav' is Gujarat government's yearly drive to attract children to take admissions in primary schools, which will start from tomorrow.

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