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2 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Guidebooks, coaching centres evil necessities

Complain guardians on Textbook Festival
Harun Ur Rashid

Guardians expressed satisfaction over the government distributing free textbooks among their children on the first day of the year. At the same time, however, they complained that their wards were forced to depend on guidebooks and coaching centres. They also said that they needed to buy additional books like English grammar for their kids as the textbooks given by the government did not cover their classroom needs.

Besides, their children did not understand the creative patterns of educations properly, making them largely dependent on guidebooks and coaching centres run by school teachers or other organisations. The guardians alleged that they were forced to send their kids to the coaching centres because the teachers set the exam questions from their own choice of books. When the children go to the coaching centres, their authorities forced students to buy some guidebooks, saying that the questions would be set from these books instead of the original textbooks. As a result, the guardians are left in a bind.

They said the government should take steps to curb coaching centres and guidebooks, and education should be imparted in the classrooms properly. Experts said a proper legal framework and its implementation were necessary for curbing the

menace. They also said the government’s move to distribute free textbooks was undoubtedly praiseworthy. But when students were forced to buy guidebooks and go to coaching centres, it put a huge financial burden on the guardians, they added.

The Independent yesterday talked to some of the guardians at the Azimpur Government Girls School and College field, where they had come with their children on the occasion of textbook festival that was inaugurated by education minister Nurul Islam Nahid.

Rehena Parvin, whose three daughters are studying in the school, said: “I am happy that my daughters are getting books on the first day of the year. But these books do not fulfil their needs because they also have to buy guidebooks, which are costly.”

“I have to send my children to coaching centres as well. When I did not send them to the coaching centres in the beginning of last year, my daughters did not do well as the questions were set from different guidebooks and not from the original textbooks. So, I was forced to send my kids to coaching centres. This year, too, I have to do the same thing,” she added.

“When I send my kids to the coaching centres, the teachers told them to buy guidebooks. It is an additional burden for us,” she said.

Jahan Ara, whose daughter is studying in Class VI at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, said: “These government textbooks are not enough for building up the knowledge of a student. We have to buy additional books like English grammar.”

Dania Begum, whose daughter is studying at Azimpur Govt Girls School and College, said: “We are happy that the government is distributing books on the first day of the year. It was unbelievable in the past.”

Nipa Akhter, a teacher of BCSIR High School, said: “It creates excitement and curiosity when students get books on the first day of the year. But the guidebooks create a hindrance on the proper reading of these government books.”

“It is necessary to teach the students to study the main books given by the government. But most guardians and teachers maintain that guidebooks are hampering the education system, leading to low quality of students,” Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), said.

“I think the government should immediately implement a legal framework to curb guidebooks and coaching centres. The government has been working on a draft education law for years, but we are still awaiting its final outcome,” she added.

Emeritus Professor Dr Serajul Islam Choudhury said: “The students go to coaching centres due to huge pressure of examinations. Even many of the students do not understand the creative pattern of the questions in the examinations.” “Guidebooks will continue to flourish until classroom teaching is given the highest priority,” he added. This year, the government will distribute 35.90 crore books from Class I to Class IX among 4.37 lakh students. The government had started distributing textbooks in 2010. So far, the government has distributed 260,85,91,290 books.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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