Five years have passed since the Supreme Court ruling against the sale of guidebooks and notebooks. But the sale continues due to a lax enforcement of the law and monitoring by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB).
Parents, students and teachers opined that sale of guidebooks and notebooks has increased in many ways recently.
Some of the guidebook companies often circulate advertisements in newspapers and television channels completely defying the ban.
On 9 December, 2009, Supreme Court upheld the High Court verdict that allowed the government to take action in case of the violation of the 1980 law that bans printing, publishing, import, distribution and sale of notebooks as well as guidebooks for primary and secondary school students.
The NCTB conducts drives on an irregular basis but no tangible action has been taken against the perpetrators. Many believe that the drive is only for show.
A recent visit to book stalls in Bangla Bazar and Nilkhet found the sale of guidebooks and notebooks continuing in full swing.
When asked why he was selling the banned items, Tofail Ahmed, a book stall owner in Bangla Bazar, said: “It does not seem that there is a ban as every book stall is selling guidebooks.”
When asked whether they faced any problem in selling the books, he replied in the negative. “The authority conducts drive but it does not affect our sale.” he added.
It was also found that publishers changed the name of the guidebooks as a common strategy. The same guidebooks are sold by labeling them as “creative way” of learning.
Mofazzal Hossain, a parent who was buying a guidebook said, the coaching centre his son was attending insisted on buying the book. “I know most of them are full of mistakes but I have to buy them as per the recommendation of the coaching centre.”