Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Children get New Year gift

Textbook distribution begins at schools
The New Year of school children began with smells of new books.
As the students of primary and secondary grades went to schools in the first morning of 2012, they were handed over a new set of textbooks. Some started jumping in joy; some were flipping through the pages.
There was a carnival atmosphere in schools all over the country yesterday, the first day of the new academic session and the much-awaited “Textbook Festival Day”.
This year, the government plans to give out about 22,13,66,383 copies of textbooks to some 3,12,13,759 students of primary, secondary and technical education schools and Ebtedayee and Dakhil madrasas. The distribution will continue for seven days, officials say.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid inaugurated the festival by handing over books to the students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College at its Bailey Road branch in the capital at 10:00am.
Around noon, Nahid went to Motijheel Government Boys School and started the distribution. There, students from adjacent Motijheel Government Girls School also received books.
All the children were jubilant at getting books from a minister. They played drums and waved placards and balloons. Parents and teachers too joined the ceremony.
“I am very happy today [yesterday] getting new books,” said Atiqur Rahman, a class-VII student of Motijheel Government Boys School. “We want to get books on time every year.”
“Since the students are getting books on the very first day of the academic calendar, they would be encouraged to learn more,” Harun-ar-Rashid, father of a school-goer, said.
The education minister on the occasion said the government had presented the students with this New Year gift despite many challenges.
He said the free textbook distribution reduces the anxiety of parents and students over getting books on time, makes students more attentive, cuts dropout rate and thus helps improve education quality.
Recent public exam results are the outcome of this initiative, he said, urging the students to study more. “It is you who can change the country.”
Of the total books printed, over 10.35 crore copies of 56 subjects are for over 1.81 crore primary-level students, including those of English medium; 1.58 crore copies of 34 subjects for some 25.53 lakh ebtedayee students, over 8.52 crore copies of 172 subjects for 84.23 lakh secondary and SSC vocational students and 1.66 crore copies of 54 subjects for 19.42 lakh Dakhil and Dakhil vocational students.
All the textbooks of primary and secondary grades have also been uploaded as e-books on the National Curriculum and Textbook Board website: www.nctb.gov.bd.
This year, the government has printed all primary textbooks in four colours through international tender. Around 40 percent of the books have been printed in India while the rest by local printers.
Asked about the international tender, Primary and Mass Education Minister Afsarul Ameen said printing through international tender has reduced the printing cost, improved the quality and helped local printers take a competitive attitude.
He was briefing newsmen at his ministry’s conference room at 1:30pm.
Ameen inaugurated the distribution at Motijheel Ideal Government Primary School around 11:00am.
He asked journalists to inform the ministry and other offices concerned if anyone does not get textbooks.
Elsewhere in the country, the distribution was held under supervision of people representatives, government officials and school authorities.
In reply to a question, AKM Abdul Awal Majumdar, secretary of primary ministry, at the briefing said punitive action will be taken if anyone asks money for the books.
In the wake of recurring textbook crisis in previous years, the government in 2009 took the decision of free book distribution at both primary and secondary levels.

-With The Daily Star input

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