Textbooks to be put on the web | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, December 07, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, December 07, 2009

Textbooks to be put on the web

Double shift in 80 more govt schools; 30 madrasas brought under modernisation project


Unlike other 63 districts, no government storehouse for textbooks in Chittagong compels the authorities to pile up the books in the open and often in different school premises. Photo: Zobaer Hossain Sikder

Apart from distributing free textbooks to the students, the government has decided to put soft copies of textbooks of primary and secondary levels on the website as an alternative step to cope with the recurring textbook crisis.
It is also going to introduce double shifts in 80 more government secondary schools in 41 districts across the country from next January for accommodating more students.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid disclosed this plan at a press briefing at the ministry's conference room yesterday.
The ministry sources, however, said soft copies of the textbooks will be kept on the website of National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) next week.
Nahid said a step has been taken to turn 30 madrasas into 'Model Madrasas' as part of the government's initiative to modernise the madrasa education.
"We will make the textbooks, which will be distributed to the students at free of cost, available in the website so that people who have access [to the internet] can download it," he said.
"This initiative would be of a tremendous help," Nahid said.
In the wake of textbook crisis recurring every year, the government for the first time is going to distribute 19 crore textbooks among the students of primary, secondary, Ibtedai, and Dakhil classes free of cost for the academic year 2010.
The minister said it is not possible to open educational institutions over night. So, the double shifts would help address the recurring admission problem in different secondary schools, he added.
"The initiative would deal with increased number of students seeking admission to reputed schools as these 80 schools will have the capability of 160 schools," he said.
He also said an initiative has been taken to appoint as many as 2,000 new teachers for the double shift schools.
Nahid said admission to the entry level of the double shift schools would start from 2010 academic year.
Double shifts have already been introduced in 73 government secondary schools, he mentioned adding that the number of double shifts will be increased if needed.
About the model madrasahs, he said a process is on to transform 30 madrasas into model madrasahs and added that a new building, a science laboratory, an ICT laboratory with 20 computers, a library with necessary books and sports materials will be set up for one model madrasa.
First time around Tk 90 lakh will be spent for each madrasah, he said.
The Madrasah Training Institute at Gazipur would be modernised further so that the teachers can gain efficiencies in madrasa education and modern education as well, he added.
Asked about the number of textbooks printed so far, the minister said around 100 percent books for Ibtedai and 80 percent books for secondary levels have already been printed out and sent to districts.
"We are lagging behind in printing primary books. We are giving utmost priority to it so that we can complete the task on time," he said.
He also said they are not worried about the books for madrasah and technical education as the number is not high.
Reaffirming his commitment of distributing books on time, he said, "Now we have the prime task of sending books to the students on time. We are committed to and despite all barriers we are hopeful that we would distribute the books before starting the new classes."
About ongoing admission to government high schools, he said uniform admission forms of 317 government secondary schools have been introduced to the website for the admission seekers for the first time.
The forms can be downloaded from the website--www.dshe.gov.bd, he said adding that the results of admission tests of the city's schools will be published in the websites.
He asserted that the classes would start from the first working day of January next in all government and non-government schools.
About irregularities in admission to the private schools, the minister said they have asked all the heads of the school to follow the proper rules. "Actions will be taken if any deviation is found."
Replying to a question, Nahid said a process of finalising a policy for inclusion of schools under MPO (Monthly Payment Order) is going on and the committee concerned will submit the policy soon.
He said the government has made an appeal to the higher court against note and guidebook business for ensuring quality education.
Education Secretary Syed Ataur Rahman and Director General, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, Prof Noman-ur-Rashid, were present during the press briefing.

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