Start sending elementary books, fear medium

At least 60 to 70 percent of primary and secondary textbooks reach the Upazila level free of cost by October every year. But this time the primary level books have been sent to the Upazila level since last Thursday. And from this week, the work of printing secondary books has started completely. Although there is very little time at hand, the printing companies are alleging various kinds of non-cooperation, which is hampering their work. In this situation, there is a fear that the work of the book will be completed by December.

The government wants to inaugurate the textbook festival in time even though the educational institutions are closed due to the outbreak of corona. Various plans are being made to deliver the books to the students on the first day of the year anyway. But due to the delay in issuing work orders due to Corona, the printers are getting time till mid-January as per the agreement. In this situation, the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) wants to get the books by December by making them understand.

NCTB Chairman Professor Narayan Chandra Saha said, ‘Primary books have been sent to the Upazila level. However, due to Corona, it is too late to give our work order this time. The responsibility of quality supervision organizations is to work according to the rules. We want to finish the work on time with the cooperation of everyone. Our printing companies have the capacity. We are hopeful that we will be able to complete the work by December.

According to relevant sources, the government has decided to distribute about 35 crore books from first to ninth class in the next academic year. Of these, 10 crores 25 lakh 72 thousand 555 are at the primary level. And 24 crore 41 lakh books of secondary, submission, and ibtedayi level are being printed. The printing companies received orders to print primary books between October 5 and 6. The order to print the secondary books was given at the end of September. This time, the Ministry of Education has decided to add various still images of independence, liberation war, and language movement with captions on the back page of secondary level textbooks. For this purpose, 61 pictures were selected. This still image was finalized last Sunday. In other words, the counting of working hours will start on Sunday.

According to the terms of the tender, the printing companies get 64 to 96 days to print the book. As such, printers have time to print until mid-January. If the book is not given before this time, there is no chance of fine.

According to the source, this time ‘Independent Inspection Services BD’ has been appointed as the quality monitoring body for secondary books. However, this is the first time that this organization has got a big government job. An organization called ‘Bureau Veritas’ has got the job of supervising the printing quality of primary books. However, the company got the job despite being the second bidder with a bid of Rs 25 lakh more than the first bidder. They got the job of supervising the quality of primary books in 2016. For the next two years, they did secondary work. This time, even though they did not get a second job, they started supervising the quality of the primary.

It is learned that according to the rules of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the quality of the paper has to be verified on a random basis. Maximum 5 to 10 percent roll samples should be collected. In previous years, this rule was followed, but this time the quality monitoring organizations are not following it. Due to their lack of capacity, the printing companies are not able to buy large quantities of paper at once. They can’t do much with it. A lot of paper is being wasted while taking samples as the staff is not efficient. Basically, temporary manpower is being recruited from the printing companies which did not get free book work this time. It is also getting late to get the paper test report.

An unnamed printing company official said that if an organization had to apply for a paper clearance five times, it would take 20 to 25 days. Earlier, samples of the book were tested from the moving machine, but this time the samples are being taken off. This is reducing production.

Afzal Kabir, project manager of Bureau Veritas, told Kaler Kanth, “We are examining the paper as per the instructions given to us by the Department of Primary Education. It doesn’t take us more than 24 hours to check the paper. ‘ He added, “It is not true that the Department of Primary did not guarantee our performance in 2016. But then it was too late to release the bill. This time we have got the job as the second bidder as there is a shortage in the paperwork of the lowest bidder of the primary.

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Sheikh Belal Hossain, head of the Independent Inspection, told Kaler Kanth, “We have all kinds of capabilities. We have no chance to go outside the ISO rules. If no one accepts it, it will be difficult to finish the work on time.

There are allegations, Mahfuza Khatun, book distribution officer of the Department of Primary Education, and the Assistant Accounting Officer of the relevant branch. The quality supervision organization has a deep relationship with Sohag Miah. Mahfuza Khatun, an Assistant Thana Education Officer, has been working in the department for six years. In their conspiracy, the printing companies are being put under various kinds of pressure. Mahfuza told Khatun that she would talk to him later if she called him, but he did not answer.

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