Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), in a study report, has claimed that the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) changes the contents of textbooks arbitrarily because of “political and communal pressure”.
The revelation was made by TIB deputy programme manager Morsheda Akter at a press conference on Monday in the presence of TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
At the conference, she presented the results of the study titled ‘National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB): Challenges of Good Governance and a Way-out in its Manuscript Formulation and Publication Management’ which was carried out by TIB.
The study says that the process of NCTB’s textbook formulation is unclear — its manuscripts are not written properly while political and ideological influences of a specific group are present (in the contents of textbooks).
16 write-ups from five textbooks at primary and secondary levels have been removed while 11 poems were excluded based on the demand of a specific communal group, states the study report.
Dealing with the textbooks of the madrasah curriculum, the report said that the names, which were meant to be Hindu, Christian and foreign ones, were removed from English textbooks of madrasah replacing Islamic words.
In a shocking revelation, the report also stated that even the name of the NCTB chairman, as he belongs Hinduism, was removed from the textbooks of madrasah.
Speaking at the press conference, TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said that the authorities concerned were compelled to bring changes in textbooks and include such words, which go against the spirit of the Bangladesh’s independence, after it faced the demands of a communal group.
The Berlin-based anti-graft watchdog in the study also finds irregularities and corruption in the formulation of textbooks, including writing manuscript, publication and distribution.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman concluded by stressing the need for formulation of a committee involving experts to find a way to make the NCTB as a commission so that the agency can work independently in formulation and publication of textbooks.