Stalin blows whistle on pvt printers getting richer while SPC idles

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The State Printing Corporation (SPC) is attached to the Ministry of Education, but about 97% of school textbooks are printed by 26 private sector printers, Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General Secretary Joseph Stalin says.

Stalin told The Island, yesterday, "The SPC has been made part of the Education Ministry and the ministry has spent about Rs 88 million on the institution. However, this corporation is not tasked with printing textbooks.

The Ministry of Education annually prints over 400 types of school textbooks", but the SPC prints only 24 types. "For 2018 the government has allocated Rs 4.385 billion for printing school textbooks. Around 97% of these books are printed by private sector printers because powerful individuals want to make money. We urge the President to look into the matter," he said.

Stalin added that a few months back they had called for an immediate investigation as some Education Ministry officials had only printed half the number of required text books for 2018. "For 2018, the total requirement of textbooks was over 41 million (41, 189, 027) and Rs 4.385 billion was allocated. They have however printed just over 28 million (28, 210, 600) books. The Ministry is saying that there is no need to print the rest because the children can reuse the previously printed books. However a large number of old books can’t be reused because of physical damage and students who received these books are compelled to buy new ones.

CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said that out of the 28 million books that were printed, the government had to print 8,802,100 new books for Grade 1- 4, 6,432,000 new books for Grade 09 and 2,630,000 work new books. The government had to print those new books due to syllabus changes. "It is obvious that the government has printed only a fraction of the books. The question is what has happened to the Rs 4.385 billion allocated for printing text books? Who are the officials who decided to print only half the text books that are required?"

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