Books Festival Begins amid Joy And Enthusiasm of Students Today

The much-anticipated book festival starts today (Friday) with the first to fifth graders getting free textbooks from the government with joy and excitement.

However, students from Class 6 to Class 10 will get textbooks within 12 days, said Ministry of Education Sources.

The government will distribute a total of 343.6 million textbooks among 416 million students this year.

Students at the primary level will receive new books on the first day of the New Year, but students from classes XI to IX will receive books within 12 consecutive days.

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina officially opened the Book Festival on Thursday (31 December) through a video conference. The ceremony was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC). (BICC). (BICC). The premier joined the event through videoconferencing from her official residence in Ganabhaban.

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Minister of Education Dr Dipu Moni and Minister of State for Primary and Mass Education Md. Zakir Hossen handed over the new books to a few BICC students at the primary, secondary, technical and madrasa levels.

Deputy Minister of Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury and Chairmen of the Standing Parliamentary Committees of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education Afsarul Amin, MP and Mustafizur Rahman, MP were also present.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Kaikaus conducted the virtual function while Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam and concerned officials were present at Ganabhaban.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the parents to give special attention to the children to keep their mental and physical health sound by encouraging them to read other books alongside textbooks and continue playing and physical activities during this Coronavirus situation.

She said the students can continue their study staying at home as educational institutions are running academic activities through online platforms.

“Although coronavirus gives us a lot of pain, you (parents) have got a scope of spending time with your kids alongside daily workloads. So you should utilise this opportunity,” she said.

The Prime Minister said an initiative has been taken to impart training to the educational institution’s head and focal point teachers on how to deal with the mental health problems of secondary level students caused by the longtime closure of schools.

Emphasising on maintaining the health protocols again, Sheikh Hasina urged all to wear facemask during movement outside. She also highlighted different initiatives taken by the government for students and teachers in this Covid-19 pandemic period.

She said salaries, allowances and retire benefit were provided to 2,055 teachers and employees of 1,646 schools and colleges through MPO enrollment and appointment of 676 trade instructors by introducing stipend courses in 640 educational institutions was made.

In addition, the retirement benefit of Tk 5.17 billion was given to 5.351 non-governmental teachers and employees and Tk 2.18 billion to 5.446 teachers and employees by resolving the application of the welfare allowance, she said.

On the first day of each New Year (January 1), the Awami League-led government distributed free-of-cost textbooks to pre-primary and secondary students by holding a national textbook festival since 2010.

Over 3.31 billion textbooks were distributed among students from 2010 to 2020, said NCTB.

About on-ground classes, the premier reiterated that the government will not allow reopening of educational institutions unless the COVID-19 situation improves in the country.

“Considering the safety of the children, we have given time till January 15. If the situation improves within this time then the schools will reopen, otherwise not,” she said.

Mentioning that online study will continue until the educational institutions reopen, she renewed her call to countrymen to maintain proper health guidelines to combat the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

Sheikh Hasina said that she knows it very well that the children and the students are the worst sufferers of the COVID-19 as their educational institutions remain shut for a long time.

“No one knows when the world will be free from the coronavirus. When we started thinking of reopening of the educational institutions, the second wave of COVID-19 hit,” she said.

“We are handing over the textbooks to ensure the continuation of their academic activities,” she said, asking the authorities concerned to distribute the books in phases maintaining health guidelines.

The Prime Minister said that today’s children are the future of the country and they will become the worthy citizens of the country through getting a proper education in respective fields.

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