The National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) is working relentlessly aiming to reach free textbooks to pre-primary, primary and secondary students in due time for the academic year 2021despite the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports BSS.
Though the stakeholders of the education sector are in uncertainty over the ongoing academic session as all the educational institutions remain closed from March 18 in view of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the NCTB officials are optimistic about fulfilling their commitment to reach the textbooks to students on the first day of the new year, 2021.
“Though the process of printing textbooks has been delayed a little bit due to the global pandemic COVID-19, the NCTB is working relentlessly aiming at reaching the textbooks to the students in due time,” NCTB Chairman Professor Narayan Chandra Saha told BSS.
Noting that the NCTB is working to start printing of the free textbooks by August next, he said, “We would go for printing textbooks by August next and complete it by the last week of November or the first week of December”.
The NCTB started calling tenders in this (June) month regarding printing of textbooks, he said, adding, it unveiled the tender for secondary level textbooks on June 2 while tender for the primary textbooks will be floated on June 11.
According to NCTB officials, many parts of the tender are being completed online so that the process of printing textbooks for the next academic year doesn’t face any problem.
“We continue the process of printing free textbooks amid the COVID-19 situation by holding meetings through virtual media. We kept the paper-tender, which was unveiled on June 2, live by extending time for five times through the e-government procurement (e-GP),” Professor Narayan Chandra said.
About 35 crore textbooks will be printed at a cost of Taka 1100.50 crore for pre-primary, primary and secondary levels this year, he said, adding about 24.41 crore books will be printed for secondary level and about 10.54 crore for the primary level taking the previous demand into consideration as the new demand is yet to come for the primary level.
About working on printing textbooks amid COVID-19 crisis, NCTB officials said before giving the printing work orders, it will be ensured whether the printing houses have the capacity of maintaining the social distancing during work period.
A separate NCTB team will monitor the matter even after giving the task, they said.
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has been distributing textbooks among the pre-primary and secondary students free of cost on the first day of the new year by holding national textbook festival every year since 2010. Over 331.38 crore textbooks were distributed till academic year 2020 since 2010.
The free textbook distribution carried out by the NCTB under the Education Ministry has earned reputation in the international arena.