Dhaka, Jan 1 (UNB) – The Textbook Festival, marking the distribution of free textbooks among school and madrasah students, was kicked off across the country on Tuesday morning.
Millions of schoolchildren have joined the festivity at schools and madrasas across the country to receive books free of cost for their new classes on the first day of the new year.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid began handing over of newly printed books among students at Azimpur Government Girls’ School and College around 9:30 am.
While speaking, the minister said, “We are marching forward with a new Bangladesh. So, we have to provide priority education as today’s students may lead the nation in the further.
“We have been trying to refurbish the education system from 2010. Bangladesh is a country where so many books are distributed for free. Girl students are doing better now in every sector and around two crore students are getting scholarships each year. So far, we have distributed more than 296 crore books in last nine years,” he also said.
Nurul Islam also urged the teachers to teach their pupils properly. “Morality must be taught them alongside regular education,” he added.
Md Sohrab Hossain, secretary of the Education Ministry, said around 95 percent students of their time could not be able to read new books.
“Half of the year had to pass by to buy new books. Now, each of you is getting new books on the beginning of a year. You are very lucky,” the secretary told students.
“Take oath not to do irregularities in exam halls. We will close those educational institutions where irregularity or cheating allegations would be raised.”
“No nation is more meritorious than yours,” said the secretary adding, “Just we have to give them better environment and up-to-date syllabus.”
Later around 11 am, Primary and Mass Education Minister Mostafizur Rahman Fizar started distributing textbooks to pre-primary and primary students at Dhaka University’s central playground.
Earlier on December 24, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the distribution of free textbooks.
The government started the Textbook Festival nine years ago, by distributing the books among students across the country as a gift for the New Year.
The government has printed 35,21,97,822 copies of textbooks for the students of primary and secondary schools, Ebtedai and Dakhil madrasas and technical institutes, according to officials of National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB).
Over 9.88 crore copies are for primary schools and 18 crore are for secondary ones.
The government has spent Tk 1,082 crore for printing and distributing the books.