Textbook festival: Primary’s print ok, crisis in secondary level

Noman Mosharef :
There is no uncertainty on the distribution of free primary textbook for 2022 session, but a crisis still prevails over the secondary level.
Until Sunday last, about 80 million textbooks for primary level had been printed. Almost all books have already been shifted to upazila level and the rest will reach by December 15. On the other hand, about 65 per cent of secondary textbooks had been printed whereas 45 per cent books shifted to field level.
When asked, Directorate of Primary Education Director General (DG) Alamgir Mohammed Monsurul Alam said that books would be delivered to all primary school students on the first day of the year. Out of a total of 100 million books, more than 80 million books have been printed. So far 85 per cent of the books have been printed. Most of the books have already reached the upazila level.
Over the issue, National Curriculum and Textbook Board’s (NCTB) member Professor Md Farhadul Islam said no problem with primary books. Hundred percent of the books will be delivered on time.
Replying to a query for reaching text books in field level; Dhaka Division Deputy Director Md Iftekhar Hossain Buhiyan said most of the books have reached the upazila level. Students will get the book on January 1. No problem is there.
The government of Bangladesh had been celebrating the first day of the year (1st January) ‘Book Festival” since 2010.
Sources said the printing of books started late due to the second round of tenders being called to break the traders’ syndicate. As a result, there is uncertainty about printing books at the right time.
Moreover, 5 to 6 printing houses could not buy paper due to financial crisis and the printing of secondary books was delayed. Due to these reasons, it will not be possible to complete the printing of 100 per cent secondary books before December, said the concerned official.
Again Professor Md Farhadul Islam said 45 per cent of secondary books have reached the field. And about 65 per cent has been printed. There is no problem in big presses. Those who start late will have to take 50 per cent of the books. There is no other gap.
NCTB sources said, a total of 34, 70, 22,130 copies of textbooks are being printed for 2022 session. Of them, 9, 98, 57, 84 copies are for primary level and 24,71,63,256 copies for secondary level.
Though books have finally reached schools, there is no uncertainty about whether there will be a book festival this year. Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni said on November 16 in the Secretariat, ‘Textbook festival may not be held next year due to corona infection. But even if it is not a festival, students will get new books at the beginning of the year. ‘