Staff Correspondent: The government distributed more than 33 crore textbooks on an average among students free of cost every year. No developed country in the world has been able to distribute this amount of books among the students. Therefore, Bangladesh is now a role model in the world in distributing free textbooks.
It is learned that before 2009, all primary and secondary students were deprived of new books. Usually, old books were handed over to the students along with two or three new books. It would take till March to get all the books. As a result, the students were lagging behind in their studies.
Now times have changed. On the first day of the year, new books were handed over to all the students and the pace of studies has returned. Giving new books and stipends has reduced the dropout rate. Gender equality has been ensured in primary and secondary. With this, the domestic printing industry has survived by printing a huge number of free books every year. As a result, thousands of new jobs have been created.
One of the biggest achievements of the country in the 50 years of Independence is the distribution of free books among millions of students. New books were given to all the students from the 2010 academic year.
Every year, on average, more than 33 crore textbooks are distributed free of cost among about four and a half crore students. The last 12 years have been no exception.
New books have been handed over to students on the first day of the year in the 2021 academic year, dispelling all fears when the world is at risk of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. No developed country in the world has been able to do this – which is also a world record.
According to the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), 365,84,45,781 free books have been handed over to the students in the 12 years from 2010 to 2021. In the latest current 2021 academic year, 34,36,62,412 free books have been given to 4,16,55,226 students from pre-primary to secondary level.
The government even distributed free textbooks among children of five minority ethnic groups in their own language since the 2017 academic year. Books are printed in their mother tongue at the pre-primary level for children in five languages – Chakma, Marma, Sadri, Garo and Tripura. Free Braille books are also being given to visually impaired students.
“The number of books that are distributed for free in Bangladesh can be circumnavigated all over the world if they are paired with one another,” academician Professor Dr. Muhammed Zafar Iqbal often said, regarding the distribution of books.
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