Illegal school guidebooks flood Barisal marketsOur Correspondent . Barisal
Only three book shops were fined merely Tk 3,000 during an anti-guide-note book drive in the Barisal city on Monday while hundreds of such shops are selling these illegal books in the city and other district towns.
District administration magistrate Khaleda Nasrin conducted the drive at noon and fined Bani Bitan, Oriental Library and Ideal Library while a number of guidebooks were seized from other shops during the drive.
A huge number of illegal poorly edited school guidebooks, full of spelling mistakes and wrong information, published for students of Class I to X, have recently flooded the divisional city’s book shops.
Even the upazila book shops of the district had not been spared of this harmful influence of illegal books on the students.
The anti-guide drive has failed to get its expected result, as the sellers, showing the anti-drive as cause, remove the guidebooks from the display shelf and put them under the counter, in addition to increasing the price of those books.
The banned guidebooks are being sold openly at much higher prices in different areas of the city including Sadar Road, Girza Mahalla, Parara Road, Line Road, Anami Lane and Band Road.
Wishing anonymity, a Class V student’s father in this regard said, ‘The related ministry, district administration and education board all have totally failed to perform their duty in this connection.’
Another guardian alleged that the role of the authorities concerned was insignificant.
Several guardians alleged that most of the teachers of both public and private schools and coaching centres of the entire district encourage the students to buy note and guide books, mentioning particular book shop’s name, indicating that those teachers get money from the owners of the illegal guidebook shops.
A senior district administration official said their drives would continue until this illegal activity stopped.
Barisal Book Sellers and Publishers Association president Delwar Hossain Rupak said, ‘The demand for the note/guide books is high due to failure of the education system, as the educational institutions have failed totally to educate the students.’
City’s Chaitanya Govinda Mohon Institution headmaster Das Gupta Ashish Kumar, who is also regional president of the Bangladesh Teachers Association, categorically said, ‘Before the standardisation of educational institutions and introducing unitary education system, the need for note and guide books will never be eliminated totally.’
Due to this, the market has been flooded with low quality guidebooks, published at different places of the country, by a vested group of traders who are marketing the books defying the government ban, he added.
So the government should first ensure indiscriminatory unitary education system before taking steps against banned note and guide books, the BTA leader said.
A notebook seller in the city, requesting anonymity, said he had been selling the banned books and pirated edition of textbooks printed secretly with fake addresses of printers and publishers since the beginning of the new year, whereas the education board was yet to publish the syllabus.
Earlier in 1980, the government banned printing, import, sale and distribution of notebooks.
In 2008, the notebook publishers went to the High Court challenging the government ban. The High Court bench in its verdict at that time banned the printing, import, sale and distribution of not only notebooks but guidebooks also.
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