Staff Reporter :
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid on Tuesday said that steps would be taken against those responsible for the mistakes in this year's school textbooks after submission of the probe report.
"Those responsible for gaffe in textbooks for school-goers will not be spared. There is no doubt that there are mistakes in the textbooks," he said.
In the wake of widespread criticism over the mistakes in school textbooks, the Education Minister admitted it while addressing a press conference at his office in the Secretariat in the morning.
The two officials of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) were made OSD (Officer on Special Duty) after the preliminary probe report found them 'responsible for two big errors,'' he said.
The Minister urged all not to take any negative impression in this regard. He also said that the government couldn't avoid the responsibility.
The NCTB is responsible for editing and improving the texts, a work involving expert educators, he said. "A book is not printed without the approval of the chief editor."
However, the Minister said that the work on primary textbooks was done in a hurry and there was delay in sending the texts for print because of conditions imposed by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
About the illustration of a goat trying to eat mangoes from a tree in the Bangla book for first grade, he said, the Ministry is looking into the matter.
He said that there were 'photo shopped images of goats climbing trees circulating on Facebook'. He also asked if it was right to print that image on newspapers.
The illustration of a girl asking for an 'Orna', a long scarf, beside the O-sounding Bangla letter, was also slammed by critics.
"There are many opinions and we welcome all of them. There are mistakes that should not have been," he said.
'Paraninda Bhalo Na' - the Bangla slogan that was transformed to 'Do not Heart Anybody' was an unforgivable error by the editor, he said.
The Minister said, "There may be mistakes in words and spellings. But the errors made in the poem Adarsha Chele are unacceptable.
"There are many mistakes, limitations, but it's normal to have flaws. Teachers and others who are responsible should correct those. Children will face harm if people do the opposite of this.
"We are facing damage, criticism that is a different discussion. But we are all responsible for helping children. I feel we should not do things that could have a negative impact on them."
Over 40 million school students were given more than 360 million textbooks and other school materials on the first day of 2017.
Soon the textbooks riddled with mistakes became the topic of ridicule and astonishment on social media websites. The spelling errors worried many about children being exposed to low quality education.