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Education - December 20, 2023

Half of students not getting books on time

6 books yet to print

Mahfuja Mukul: Only 11 days left for the start of the new academic year. On the first day of the year, about 4 crore primary and secondary students are eagerly waiting to smell the new books. The students who are curious about the book are waiting but their good news is not confirmed yet. More than half of eighth and ninth graders do not receive books on the first day of the year. Apart from this, the manuscripts of 6 books have not yet been printed.
In the next academic year, teaching is starting in these two classes with the new curriculum. More than 10 crore books will be printed for these students. Among them, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) received the manuscripts of 6 books on inquiry and practice of science and history and social science for classes VIII and IX last Monday. It is not possible to start printing these books before January.
Among them, the work of printing about 60% of books of eighth and ninth class has not started yet.
Besides, the format of class 9 books is very big. The total number of books in the three classes of secondary school is almost equal to the books of the ninth class. So, it takes a lot of time to print this book. This time around 31 crore books have to be printed for primary and secondary students. So far, NCTB has not finalized the printing contract for all class books. However, more than 7 crore books of secondary level are yet to be printed. Although the books were distributed on January 1, it will take more than a month to hand over all the books according to the curriculum of all the students of the country. As a result, at the beginning of the new year, more than half of the students in the eighth and ninth classes are not getting new books.
Although the NCTB authorities are unwilling to accept these complaints. They claim that all primary books are ready. However, the books of all other classes will reach all educational institutions before January 1, except for some books of the eighth and ninth classes of secondary level.
Meanwhile, separate venues have been fixed for the book festival for primary and secondary students on the first day of the year. Primary book festival will be held in Mirpur of the capital. And secondary school book festival will be held in an educational institution of Comilla’s Lalmai Upazila. Although the festival was officially inaugurated at 10 am on January 1 from two places, the book festival will be held separately in all the educational institutions of the country.
According to NCTB sources, NCTB is working to print about 31 crore books for free distribution among 3 crore 81 lakh 27 thousand 630 students of primary and secondary level in 2024 academic year. Out of this, the total number of primary level books is around 9 crore 75 lakh. And the total books of secondary level are 18 crore 61 lakh 1 thousand 206. Among them, 5 crore 34 lakh 84 thousand 271 copies of books are being printed for the eighth class and 5 crore six lakh 84 thousand 573 books for the ninth class.
According to the sources of Printing Association, about one crore books of class 2 and 3 of the new curriculum have not yet been supplied till Tuesday. History and social science books for 6th and 7th class of Madhyamik have also not been supplied yet. A total of 6 books, including history and social science and science for classes VIII and IX, out of a total of more than 3 crore books, were not approved for printing. Besides, 35 percent of other books of class VIII and class IX have been printed. It will take January to print and deliver the remaining books. Eighth and ninth combined more than 7 crore books are still out of print.
According to the sources of NCTB, there has been some delay in the printing of secondary books as the work of printing primary books has started earlier. 6th and 7th class book printing work are over. The work of printing eighth and ninth class books is going on. Meanwhile, because of the new curriculum, the work of printing books is going on with caution. History and Social Science book has been revised in phases. That is why the manuscript is late. These books will be printed soon.
The owner and staff of the printing house said that NCTB had signed a contract with 50 days as per the rules for printing books. But this year (year 2023) is only a few days left. The contract for printing of class VIII books is valid till January 14. And the contract period for class IX books is till 25 January. Before this, no printing press could finish printing so many books. NCTB is in a state of limbo with book printing due to non-payment of tenders, work contracts, bills on time.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Printing Association Zahurul Islam told that at the beginning of the new year, about 60 percent of eighth and ninth grade students will not get books. They are likely to get this book around February. Because this year there is delay in making soft copies and dummies of new syllabus books. So, the printing of these two classes of books has started a few days ago. Besides, there are almost twice as many tasks in ninth grade books than other middle school grade books. Since most of the work in class IX books. No matter how much storage capacity there is, it is never possible to deliver books on time. He said that last Monday, NCTB received the manuscripts of 6 books including history, social and science. After receiving this manuscript, it will take another 7 to 10 days to start printing. As a result, it is not possible to start printing the books before January. In total, more than 9 crore books are still out of print, he said.
However, NCTB Chairman Prof. Farhadul Islam told that all primary books have been printed. The printing of the new curriculum book of Class IX will be completed before January 1. But it will take till January first week to reach class VIII books. Besides, we have only received manuscripts of history and social and science books of 8th and 9th class. These books will also be printed soon. As a result, it is not impossible to hand over new books to students on the first day of the year.

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