Eighty-five thousand eight hundred and nine metric tons of paper were used for printing of nearly 34 crore textbooks that would be distributed free of cost among the students from tomorrow across the country.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid came up with the disclosure while giving an overview on the free textbooks printed this year at a function that marked the inauguration of the distribution programme.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally opened the textbook distribution programme across the country from her official Ganobhaban residence here this morning after receiving the results of this year’s Primary School Certificate (PSC), Junior School Certificate (JSC) and their equivalent examinations.
Nahid said 333,762,760 books on 291 subjects would be distributed free of cost among 4,416,728 students of pre-primary to ninth grades for the next academic session beginning on Jan 1.
The education minister said Taka 622.06 crore were spent for printing these books, Taka 120.89 crore less than the previous year. Each book cost Taka 19.24 on an average, he added.
Nahid said 16,500 trucks were used for reaching the textbooks to 501 points in the country.
Twenty-one thousand and six hundred people were involved in the printing of the books, he said, adding that the total number of people involved in the process of printing and distribution was 99,000.
At the function, Director General of Secondary and Higher Secondary
Directorate Professor Fahima Khatoon adorned the Prime Minister with an “Uttaria” on the occasion of the inauguration of the free textbook distribution programme.
Prime Minister’s Adviser HT Imam, Primary and Mass Education Minister Advocate Mostafizur Rahman, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Primary and Mass Education Ministry Motahar Hossain, PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum, Education Secretary Sohrab Hossain, Primary and Mass Education Secretary Humayun Khalid, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and NCTB Chairman Professor Narayan Chandra Paul were present on the occasion, among others.
Immediately after taking the office in 2009, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced free distribution of textbooks up to the secondary level students.
In its continuation, the Ministry of Education led by Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid took initiatives for distributing free textbooks among the students of pre-primary, primary, secondary, Ebtedayee, Dakhil, Dakhil (vocational), SSC (vocational) levels through the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) from 2010.
Since then, 188.70 crore textbooks were distributed free of cost among the students, official sources said.