School authorities handed over new textbooks to students yesterday, the first day of the academic year, though many authorities could not give full sets of secondary textbooks.
Moshiuzzaman, acting chairman of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), hopes all books would be delivered by January 7.
The government is set to distribute about 34.7 crore textbooks to more than 4.17 crore pre-primary, primary and secondary students for the 2022 academic year.
About 2.27 crore primary students will receive 9.98 crore textbooks and 1.89 crore secondary students 24.71 crore textbooks free of cost.
Delays in the tendering process, the issuance of work orders and the other necessary work related to the printing of pre-primary and secondary textbooks have caused delays this year, according to NCTB officials and textbooks printers.
As of December 30, about 22 secondary crore textbooks have been printed and about 20 crore books have been sent to the upazilas, according to NCTB.
Almost all primary school books have reached the upazila level, while 95 percent of the secondary school books have either reached the upazilas or are on the way, Moshiuzzaman said.
This year, the government could not hold the "Textbook Festival" -- the ceremony to hand out textbooks to secondary and primary students on the first day of the year -- due to the pandemic.
So the school authorities handed over the books to students of different classes in batches. Mask-clad students were seen collecting new books with enthusiasm.
Several class 9 students of Ideal School and College in Motijheel said they got new books but not the full set. They received six books although they were supposed to get 13 in total.
The students of classes 3 and 5 of Patuakhali's Gabtani Government Primary School only got their Bangla books, according to Mahinur Begum, its headteacher. They were supposed to get six textbooks.
The district primary education officer Mollah Baktiar Uddin said they received about 62 percent books of the requisite 9.12 lakh books. "All students will get a full set of books soon," he said.
Netrokona district education officer Abdul Gafur said they have received just over 50 percent of the needed 30.43 lakh copies as of Friday.
"We will not be able to give a full set of books to many students. As we are giving books in phases, students' learning will not be hampered," he added.
Since 2010, the government has successfully delivered almost all the textbooks to students on New Year's Day.
Between 2010 and 2021, the government distributed 365.8 crore textbooks for free.