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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Textbooks to be corrected based on opinions from all stakeholders

  • An expert committee formed 
  • Already 20 recommendations received  
  • Expert panel to review textbooks based on the feedback
Update : 01 Feb 2024, 09:16 AM

The government has taken the initiative to correct errors and fix controversial issues in all the textbooks under the new curriculum on the basis of opinions from all quarters, according to high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Education.

The development comes in the face of a controversy about a story on transgender issues in the books of grade seven. The Ministry of Education has formed an expert committee to address the issue.

An official said the government had directed the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) to collect feedback and opinions from teachers, parents and students during the distribution of new textbooks on January 1.

Following the directives, the curriculum apex body has already received around 20 recommendations and opinions from them.

The NCTB also collected media reports and expert opinions.

Officials at NCTB said they will distribute recommendations and opinions among the subject writers' panels.

The expert panel will review and revise textbooks based on the feedback, the official added.

On January 1, the NCTB requested all concerned to send feedback if any mistakes or errors are detected in books under the new curriculum. The NCTB will take appropriate measures to improve the quality of the textbooks through a study of various forms of information, data, logical analysis, and proper presentation.

According to the NCTB, it has received complaints about some errors and controversial issues, including the transgender story in the seventh-grade textbook, the use of the name of Israel excluding Palestine in the map of the ninth-grade history and social science textbook, and a direct copying and pasting of various chapters of the ninth-grade science textbook from an India-based coaching website.

The NCTB has also received allegations of plagiarism in some chapters of a grade nine science textbook (English version).

It is also alleged that the writers panel added some passages using Google Translator in the Bengali version of “Science Investigative Study” of the same grade.

Additionally, there are some errors, including in the structures of chemical bonding, the narrative of deoxyribonucleic acid (abbreviated DNA), lack of proper explanation, mismatch about image and narratives, wrong information, placing of irrelevant images, incorrect rules of chemical formula, and using examples of "Static Inertia" copied from PraxiLabs, an Egyptian startup and online teaching platform.

In chapters of the same books, the structure of chloroplasts has been copied from the New York, United States-based CD Genomics website, a genomics services company, which states: “Chloroplasts are commonly found in guard cells located in plant leaves, roughly 1-2 micrometers thick and 5-7μ micrometers in diameter. Chloroplasts are oval-shaped and have two membranes: an outer membrane and an inner membrane. Between the outer and inner membrane is the intermembrane space approximately 10-20 nanometers wide. The space within the inner membrane is the stroma, the dense fluid within the chloroplast.”

Besides, NCTB also received allegations of copying definitions and narratives of the "Nitrogen cycle" from Byju's, a Bangalore-based Indian multinational educational technology company.

In chapter 12 of the same subject of the same grade, it says: "Nitrogen is a key nutrient element for plants. However, the abundant nitrogen in the atmosphere cannot be used directly by plants or animals…"

Last year, a post went viral on social media alleging plagiarism in the textbooks, as the information in a chapter of the grade seven book was copied directly from the National Geographic Education Resource Library website (education.nationalgeographic.org).

Later, the Ministry of Education asked the NCTB writers panel to correct the errors.

NCTB Chairman Prof Md Farhadul Islam told Dhaka Tribune: “The education minister strictly instructed us to correct mistakes so that we can effectively implement the curriculum."

He said they will fix all errors and controversies based on public opinion and media reports following the government's instructions, so that everyone can participate in and understand the new curriculum's main objective.

He further said they will send revised copies of textbooks to educational institutions concerned soon.

Educationist Rasheda K Choudhury suggested that there is a need to research, take opinions from all platforms, and review all textbooks under the new curriculum so that no allegations and questions are raised during its implementation.

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