All students of primary and secondary grades across the country will receive a new set of textbooks on the very first day of the new academic session.
The government is all set to start distributing free textbooks from January 1 amid festivity.
Around 27 crore copies of textbooks will be distributed among 3,68,86,172 students of primary, secondary, madrasa and technical institutions this time, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said.
He was addressing a press briefing at his ministry's conference room yesterday.
"Students attending their schools on January 1 will return home with a new set of textbooks," he said, adding that preparation for distributing free textbooks was at the final stage.
The prime minister will open the textbook distribution programme at Gono Bhaban in the capital on December 31. A Textbook Festival will also be inaugurated centrally from Residential Model School and College on January 1, he added.
"January 1 has become a festival day for tens of thousands of students as they receive free textbooks on that day," Nahid said.
The minister mentioned that more than 10.78 crore copies of textbooks will be distributed for students at primary level, over 1.72 crore at ebtedai (primary level of madrasa), 11.48 crore at secondary, 2.05 crore at madrasa and 13.28 lakh at technical levels.
"Almost all the textbooks have already been transported to upazilas, and the process of sending the textbooks to schools is on," he said, adding that around 10,507 trucks were being used for transporting the textbooks.
The e-book version of textbooks will also be available on website www.ebook.gov.bd and NCTB's (National Curriculum and Textbook Board) website www.nctb.gov.bd from January 1.
The main feature of this year's textbooks was that those were printed under the new curriculum. The government brought major modifications to 111 textbooks of class I-IX after 17 years, the minister said.
He urged all guardians not to buy the textbooks meant for free distribution from any store.
Nahid warned of stern action if any school authority forces anyone to buy textbooks, saying that his ministry would monitor the distribution of free textbooks.
The government has been distributing free textbooks to both primary and secondary level students since 2010.
In earlier years, the students and their parents had to wait four to five months to get their books, which eventually hampered their studies.
Education Secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and NCTB Chairman Prof Mostafa Kamal Uddin also spoke at the press briefing.