Hyderabad: Buying textbooks of the State syllabus will cost parents of private school students a bomb this year as the prices have shot up. In comparison with last year, the textbooks will cost at least 50 per cent more this year.
One of the main reasons for the hike in textbook prices is the fact that the cost of paper has gone north. While paper per metric tonne was priced at Rs 61,000 last year, it rose to Rs 95,000 this year. Hence, the prices of textbooks have increased. For a case in point, a bunch of eight textbooks for Class X will cost Rs 1,074 this year, while the same textbooks were priced at Rs 686 last academic year. Similarly, five textbooks for Class IV are priced at Rs 402 this year as against Rs 224 last year.
A total of 1.22 crore sale component textbooks are required for students studying in private and corporate schools in the State. These textbooks will be made available for sale from Monday, an official said.
Meanwhile, as of June 22, 67,87,210 free component textbooks have been dispatched by the Government Textbook Press, a wing of the School Education Department, to districts, of the requirement of 1.6 crore textbooks. These textbooks will be distributed to students of government schools free of cost.
This time, as the State government has introduced English medium of instruction in Classes I to VIII in government schools, bilingual textbooks i.e., in English and Telugu, have been printed. For example, each page of a lesson in Telugu medium will have an English version on the adjacent page as well. Likewise, for Hindi and Urdu medium students, the same topic will be available in both Hindi and English, and Urdu and English languages respectively.
As the numbers of pages go up, weight too does and the department has decided to provide textbooks to students in two installments i.e. one each for Summative Assessment (SA) I and II. Presently, the distribution of SA-I textbooks is underway, while SA-II textbooks will be provided in August or September.
“We will complete 70 per cent of the distribution of free component textbooks by the end of this month and 100 per cent by July 15. Due to an increase in paper prices, the budget for free component textbooks has doubled from Rs 60 crore last year to Rs 120 crore now,” an official explained. This year, textbooks of all classes will come with Quick Response (QR) codes printed. By scanning these codes using a smartphone, students can view and self-learn lessons.