Smiles, all around

January 2, 2013

Children get free textbooks on first day of New Year
Children began this year in a festive mood with new textbooks in hand yesterday.
Gifts awaited them at schools across the country as they woke up to the first morning of 2013 to celebrate “Textbook Festival Day”. Students of primary and secondary grades were beaming with joy as they were handed over those textbooks for the new academic session.
The government has planned to distribute about 26.17 crore copies of textbooks among some 3.68 crore students of primary and secondary schools, Ebtedai and Dakhil madrasas and technical institutions.
The textbook distribution will continue for the next seven days. So the schools that are yet to start admitting students will have to hand over books to their pupils within this period.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid at 11:00am inaugurated the festival at Residential Model School and College in the capital. He handed over books to students from four schools.
It was a cheerful atmosphere inside the school premises. Around 4,000 students sat before a podium wrapped with red and green cloths — colours of our national flag — to hear speeches of the minister and other government officials present there. In one hand they were holding a little red flag and in the other colourful textbooks.
Nahid in his speech greeted the students, saying, “Now you [students] concentrate on your studies to get the best possible education and to take the country to its desired height.
“You have to do those things which we could not.”
Bangladesh was the only country where such a huge volume of textbooks were distributed for free, the minister said.
Free textbook distribution reduces the anxiety of parents and students over getting books in time, encourages students to be more attentive and cuts the dropout rate, thus helps improve quality of education as a whole, he said.
He also urged parents to inform the authority if textbooks are found to be sold out.
Presided over by Education Secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, the programme was also addressed by Rashed Khan Menon, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on education ministry; Jahangir Kabir Nanak MP and Prof Mostofa Kamal Uddin, chairman of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board.
All the children were jubilant after receiving books from the minister. They played drums and waved placards. Parents and teachers too joined the ceremony.
“I am very happy getting new books. I will flip through the pages of these books as I reach home,” said SK Abrar Hossain, a class-V student.
“I just saw this year’s textbooks. The books are colourful and their quality improved significantly,” said a parent whose daughter studies at Gono Bhaban Girls’ School.
Meanwhile, Primary and Mass Education Minister Afsarul Ameen distributed books at Kalachandpur Government Primary School in the capital’s Gulshan and four other schools in Gazipur.
Home Minister MK Alamgir distributed textbooks at Monipur High School and College.
Elsewhere in the country, textbook distribution was held under the supervision of public representatives, government officials and school authorities.
All the textbooks of primary and secondary grades have been uploaded on the National Curriculum and Textbook Board website: www.nctb.gov.bd.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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