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NCTB changes textbooks under communal group`s pressure: TIB

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Staff Reporter :
The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has said the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) changed some of the textbook contents in primary and secondary levels this year influenced by a specific communal group.
"There are many doubts in formulating the textbook by the NCTB. Manuscripts for the textbooks are not written properly while political and ideological influences of a specific group are present," TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman revealed the findings at a press conference in the capital on Monday.
According to the findings, irregularities and corruption mostly took place in ten the levels of formulating the textbook manuscript. They are-formation of committee, workshop, writers panel, selection of contents and use of words, recruiting content expert, coordination between writer and editor, editing, recruiting proofreader, use of try-out method and manuscript preservation.
The title of the findings was "National Curriculum and Textbook Board: Challenges of Good Governance and a Way-out in its Manuscript Formulation and Publication Management."
"Sixteen write-ups from five textbooks in primary and secondary levels have been excluded. Among those, 11 poems were removed based on the demand of the specific group," Iftekharuzzaman said.
The names, which were meant to be Hindu, Christian and foreign ones, were removed from English textbooks of madrasah replacing Islamic words, the TIB study said, adding that even the name of the NCTB chairman, as he belongs Hinduism, was removed from the textbooks of madrasah.
TIB deputy programme manager, Morsheda Akhter, conducted the study.
The TIB, in its study, recommended for establishing the NCTB as an independent commission so that it can independently formulate policies regarding textbook formulation and publication.
Iftekharuzzaman stressed the need for formulation of a committee involving experts to find a way to make the NCTB as a commission so that it can work independently in formulation and publication of textbooks.
TIB adviser (Executive Management), Sumaiya Khair, among others, was present at the press conference.
Ruling party loyalists get preference in formation of committee and in some cases, members get excluded from it though they are competent, the study said.
It said the workshop holds with lack of right policy and favouritism in selecting participants. In many cases, participants' opinions are not accepted.
Some of the members of Textbook writer panel included in the group do not have any clear idea about the topic of the lesson, the study observed.
It said selection of topics is influenced by religion and communal ideology. Topic and words of textbooks are changed with the change in the government.
In many cases, experts are not invited for conducting the process.
Points are added and removed without notifying the concerned writers due to lack of writer-editor coordination.
Favouritism and lobby influenced in the recruiting proofreader. Absence of proper planning and system for textbook manuscript preservation is also found.

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