It is a fact that Bangladesh is the only country in the world which prints over three hundred million textbooks for free distribution among school students. Every year students of different schools of Bangladesh become glad to get free textbooks, and this year more than 35 crore free textbooks were given to school and Madrasa students across the country. The enthusiasm of students turned every school ground into a festival. The textbook distribution continued for the next few weeks so that schools that are yet to admit new students can distribute the books among all pupils within this period. The primary and mass education ministry organised on January 02, 2019 a programme to distribute books at the Dhaka University Central Playground.
But it is regrettable that unscrupulous people are involved in unfair trade of selling these textbooks, as was reported in the Daily Star (Free textbooks on sale! January 22, 2019.
Free textbooks on sale!). The news item said that free textbooks for primary and high school students, provided by National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) authority, were being sold in Cittagong port city markets. The issue came to light after members of Detective Branch (DB) of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) arrested a book seller from the city’s Andarkillah book market area with 283 free textbooks. The arrestee was identified as Snehashish Talukdar, 28. He is a staff member of Prakash Bichitra, a book shop at Wali Mansion of Andarkillah book market area, said Inspector Eliash Khan of DB. Tipped off, a team of DB police raided the book shop and detained Snehashish, seizing books meant for free distribution among students.
During primary interrogation, the arrestee told the police that he and cohorts used to collect the free books from primary schools and Madrasas and later sold them to students of private schools. The owner of the book shop Debashish Talukdar was on the run following the incident.
According to the district education office sources, educational institutions need to provide the list of their students to both primary education office and district education office for free books. As per the list, the authorities provide books to the institutions. Police and district education office sources said a section of educational institutions have been collecting extra textbooks from district education office showing more students on the list than the actual number. These books end up in the market with the help of unscrupulous school staff.
Since selling of free textbooks is prohibited so if any person who breaches the law should be prosecuted.
New Eskaton, Dhaka