The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education department has formed an investigation committee to look into the textbooks seized by the police from a scrap dealer near Phandu police station.
“A three-member committee has been formed to investigate the matter in three days under the supervision of K-P Education Secretary Afzal Latif,” K-P E&SE Additional Secretary Qaiser Alam told The Express Tribune. “According to the initial investigation, these books were scrap and a Cantt Circle education office employee gave the books to a man to sell them and purchase a water pipe for the office garden with the money.”
Alam added the books were from the previous academic year and were taking up a lot of space in the office as they were not in use.
In 2013-14 the medium for instruction at government schools was changed to English and books were printed again – in English. However, he said, the officials should have followed the rules and informed the department before selling or discarding the material. “The matter is under investigation and we will take action against the people involved.”
The books that were seized on Sunday weighed 720 kilogrammes and were found when Peshawar police raided the shop of a scrap dealer in Phandu.
According to an official of the provincial textbook board in Peshawar, who wished to remain anonymous, the provincial government issued free textbooks for all students from class 1 to 12 at all government schools.
He added the textbooks were stamped with a “not for sale” logo and could be identified easily. “During the current academic year, millions of textbooks worth Rs2.5 billion were issued free of cost across the province,” said the official, adding the sale and purchase of these books was a crime.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2015.