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Sale of unauthorised guidebooks rampant in Sylhet

35Most of the bookshops in the Sylhet city are selling unauthorised guidebooks and notebooks, defying ban on the practice.
The students of primary and secondary level schools are being forced to buy the books.
The publishers of the books pasted posters and banners in front of several institutions to attract the school-goers and their guardians.
They are also keeping relation with the authorities of different schools so that they can incorporate the illegal books in the book lists of the respective schools.
According to the Notebook Prohibition Act 1980, no notebooks or such type of books for the students of class two to class eight can be printed and marketed.
Besides, no notebooks for the students reading above class eight can be printed or marketed without permission of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) authorities.
Even the Supreme Court on December 9, 2009 upheld a High Court verdict banning both guidebooks and notebooks.
While visiting city’s Hazi Kodrat Ullah Market, Raza Mansion, Zindabazar and other book selling points, this correspondent found huge amount of banned books have influxed.
Hazi Kodrat Ullah Market, which is the hub of book sellers and publishers in the Sylhet city, most of the bookstalls were found filled with different banned note and guide books.
Though the education ministry has introduced the creative method for the students in a bid to distract from guidebooks but it the real scenario is totally different, said Nasir Uddin, a guardian of a student and also an employee of Sylhet City Corporation.
“Sometimes the teachers of the school instigated the kids to buy the guidebooks mentioning the books’ name”, said Abdur Rouf, another guardian.
Seeking anonymity, an official of Sylhet Education Board told that the business of selling the books was open as the law enforcing agencies did not take action against the illegal traders despite the government direction.
Sylhet  District Education Officer Jahangir Alam said: “No can refer or force the students to buy guidebooks as per the law.”
“Law enforcing agencies should take punitive steps against the book sellers to prevent the business,”, she said.
Prominent writer and the Former Principle Abul Kalam Azad said:“The demand of note and guidebooks will be reduced if the content of the textbooks is edited, upgraded and modernized by the real-experts and writers.”
“The Education Ministry and NCTB should be strictly implemented the law in this regard while the teachers should be trained up over the creative methods and find out the error of the system”, He added.
Sylhet Kazi jalal Uddin Girl’s High School’s headmaster Abdul Khalik said  notebooks were prohibited at his institution while the teachers were highly trained at creative method.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Md Shohidul Islam Chawdhury said: “Due to manpower shortage, district administration could not carry out mobile court in this regard.”
Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP)’s Additional Commissioner Rahmot Ullah said: “We will assist the district administration if they want help.”