Primary students get new textbooks on the first day of 2021

The government has distributed new textbooks on the first day of 2021, but the secondary students are yet to receive all books.

The officials of primary education have received all textbooks in time and will be able to distribute them among 90 percent of the students on Friday.

The heads of secondary schools said they have not received the textbooks for all grades. They expect to get all books in a week.

A fourth grader at Dholaipar Govt Primary School in Dhaka is happy after receiving new textbooks on the first day of the new year, Jan 1, 2021.

The government decided not to hold a textbook festival on the first day of the year and distribute 343.6 million books among 41.6 million students in phases amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

It ordered the schools to distribute the textbooks for primary level on Friday and Saturday and the secondary-level textbooks from Jan 1 to Jan 12.

Md Mamunur Rashid, assistant education officer in Rajshahi’s Godagari Upazila, said the primary schools in his jurisdiction have received all necessary books.

“We have asked them not to hand over books to students without masks. Also, we ordered schools to arrange hand sanitisers at the premises,” he said.

Students of Dholaipar Govt Primary School in Dhaka receive new textbooks on the first day of 2021.

“We are distributing the textbooks clustering the students according to their grades. But those who will come to the schools on Friday will receive the books. We’re trying to ensure that the places do not get crowded,” said Md Jamal Hossain, assistant education officer of Debidwar Upazila in Cumilla.

Syed Md Ahsan, assistant education officer of Indurkani Upazila in Pirojpur, has said that 90 percent of students in the primary schools in the sub-district will get the books on Friday.

“Textbook distribution started at 8 am. Those who won’t come today will be given the books tomorrow. For those who won’t even come tomorrow, we’ll send books to their homes,” he said.

Teachers distribute new textbooks to students at Dholaipar Govt Primary School in Dhaka on the first day of 2021.

Disruptions to the printing of textbooks due to the coronavirus pandemic hampered the distribution of books for the secondary level, said Narayan Chandra Saha, chairman of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board.

The books that are yet to reach the schools will be sent in a week, he said.

The Awami League government has been holding a textbook festival to distribute free books among students on the first of a year since 2010. It distributed 3.66 billion books in the last 11 years.

Prime Minister Hasina inaugurated the textbook distribution programme through a video conference from Ganabhaban on Dec 31.