Next year’s ‘National Textbook Festival’ is likely to be delayed from its preset date of January 1 following the next general elections, said officials. They also said that the number of free textbooks for the next academic year of 2019 is going to decrease by about 21 lakh compared with that of 2018.
National Curriculum and Textbook Board chairman Professor Narayan Chandra Saha told New Age on Sunday that free textbooks had already been sent to 85 per cent to 95 per cent upazilas in the country. Printing process of the rest of the books is at the last stage, he said.
As the next general election is scheduled for December 30, the educational institutions would be closed at that time, he said, adding that the observance of the textbook festival would therefore be delayed. ‘It is unlikely that January 1, the fixed date for the yearly festival, can be maintained in 2019,’ said the textbook board chairman.
Narayan Chandra Saha also said that the decisions from the education and primary and mass education ministries would be followed regarding the date of the textbook festival of the coming year. This year 35,21,97,882 textbooks will be distributed among over 4 crore pre-primary, primary, secondary, ibtedayi, dakhil vocational, SSC vocational, ethnic minority groups and visually challenged students across the country.
The number of textbooks has been reduced by 20,92,280 this year which was 35,42,90,162 in 2018 academic year.
Narayan Chandra Saha said every year they used to print some extra books in case there was an increase in student intake at primary level besides facilitating needs of researchers for studies.
‘This year our process of scrutiny was more refined and that is why the number of free textbook has been reduced,’ he added.
The ruling Awami League-led government started distributing free textbooks from 2010 academic year. Meanwhile the Election Commission on November 20 issued a letter requesting the secondary and higher education division of education ministry to cancel the training venues of polling officials for facilitating admission or equivalent examinations of government and non-government schools for 2019 academic year.
The letter says that the next elections will be held on December 30 while voting officers will take position in the voting centres since afternoon of December 29.
Besides, between December 7 and 15 and December 18 and 23 there are plans to give training to the polling officials. In this context the commission made the request to the education ministry for avoiding these venues as much as possible.
Source: New Age