Fake version of delayed textbooks flooding book stores

August 24, 2014

The National Curriculum and Textbook Board’s delay in releasing three important Higher Secondary Certificate textbooks has led to book markets around country being flush with counterfeit and unauthorised versions of the books. The latest version of the three textbooks – The Bangla Shahitya Path, Bangla Sahapath and English For Today – were introduced 41 days after the start of the academic year, and four days after first year classes at colleges began. It took a number of additional days for the books to reach all parts of the country.
By then, book stores began selling older versions of the textbook – largely different from the latest editions – to unsuspecting students and guardians. Though the latest version has now reached most markets around the country, older versions, packaged as new versions, has created widespread confusion among students and parents.
Guardians alleged the counterfeit books are now available at the renowned book markets, including Bangla Bazar and Nilkhet, in the capital and district and upazila levels. Having already printed the older versions to take opportunity in the delay, booksellers are now trying to unload their stock by repackaging them.
The National Curriculum and Textbook Board officials said some dishonest businessman have been selling the three textbooks, copying the content of older versions, avoiding the holographic mark that would help identify the version of the book.
NCTB, observing that counterfeit books had flooded book markets in Dhaka and district and upazila towns, sent a letter to superintendents of police of all 64 districts on Wednesday.
NCTB secretary Brojo Gopal Bhoumik said they asked all SPs to carry out drives against illegal trade of books and sale of counterfeit books.
Bhoumik added they had found the counterfeit books in Bangla Bazar and Nilkhet and many book stores in northern districts of the country. About 10 lakh students began their first year HSC classes on August 6.
The three compulsory textbooks for all students, however, were made available on August 10. NCTB at the time blamed the authors who had undertaken the revision work for the delay.
There are allegations that the books are still to reach some parts of the country, especially places in the northern districts.
The new versions of all three textbooks contain a number of changes from the older version.
The two Bengali books for this academic year have been rewritten following the new curriculum, while the new English For Today contains a numbers of modifications.
A portion of ‘Unfinished Memoirs’ – the autobiography of country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – has been added to the syllabus of Bangla Shahitya Path.
A total of 12 prose and 12 poems have been newly selected for students who will appear in the HSC examinations in 2016.
NCTB officials said that they had published 11.5 lakh copies each of the three books for classes for the 2014-15 session.
Students and guardians, meanwhile, are largely unaware of the fraud being carried out.
‘I was not aware of the fake books,’ said Rahman Mia, a guardian shopping for the books at Nilkhet market. ‘The government should have publicised that information.’
Meanwhile, Dhaka police superintendent Habibur Rahman and Rajshahi superintendent of police Alamgir Kabir said they did not have any knowledge about the letter, till Saturday noon, while Pabna SP Mirajuddin Ahmmad said he had received the letter but was yet to start the drive.

-Input from New Age

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