Procuring and using low-quality paper in printing textbooks for children is contrary to the moto of distributing textbooks free of cost. What is the use of the benevolent activity, if the students do not get the benefit of it? Children cannot use the books properly if those are printed with low-quality paper. It is disheartening to note that vested groups are active to realise undue financial gains from the deal of printing textbooks through unfair means.
As per the BSTI act, 2018, it is mandatory to take certification marks from BSTI before sealing, marketing and distribution of writing and printing papers. But, in violation of the law, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board has been procuring low-quality paper for the printing of textbooks for primary level students due to the influence of a strong syndicate. Many suppliers of paper to the NCTB do not care about obtaining any certification from BSTI.The non-conformity with the law will cost a total revenue loss of the government to the tune of Tk 70 lakh a year. The irregularities in procuring paper are taking place only for the interest of the vested quarter and its cohorts in the public enterprise. We notice a gross disregard to the interest of those the textbooks are meant for. Children will feel reluctant to turn pages of the low-quality books which is likely to affect their attention to study at the tender age.
As reported, the primary textbooks printed by NCTB for 2019 academic session were of very poor quality. The repetition of the same corrupt practice is surely disheartening for us along with others who want that corruption is uprooted from society. Despite that the media and the conscious section of the society were vocal against the irregularities last year, to our utter dismay, literally, there is none to check the corruption.
Textbook distribution has become a nation-wide annual joyful celebration. The corrupt practice is sure to cast a dark shadow on it. We demand a thorough investigation of the issue and strict punishment of those who are involved in the corrupt practice including those in the state-run NCTB. It has to be ensured that the textbooks are printed maintaining proper quality.