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    ‘Schools not introducing library hours will be penalized’

    online desk | 07 February 2018 | 7:50 pm

    ‘Schools not introducing library hours will be penalized’

    An order was issued to this end in 2017 but it was largely ignored

    The government has ordered the incorporation of library hours into class routines at the secondary level from this year.

    It has also threatened to take action against the institutions and their heads for ignoring the directive.

    Prof Dr Md Abdul Mannan, the director of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (DSHE), said: “We have to enforce the policy of adding library hours. We are going to encourage institutions to follow this rule. Any institutions not following the directive will be punished.”

    Education Ministry sources say the Bishwo Shahitto Kendro proposed incorporating library hours in class routines to help enhance the students’ capabilities and broaden their general knowledge.

    The proposal suggested that during library hours, the students would read books outside their curriculum, participate in debates and poetry recitations, make wall magazines and conduct book-reading sessions.

    The National Curriculum Coordination Committee in 2016 decided to add library hours to the class routine. Later, the DSHE ordered all institutions to follow the instruction from 2017.

    However, the institutions failed to follow the directive as the class routine supplied by the government did not have library hours.

    A new order was issued on February 6 this year following the failure of the previous order.

    It ordered secondary institutions to add library hours to their existing class routines from 2018. In the absence of separate library halls, they were ordered to carry out library hour activities in the classrooms.

    The district education officers and the Upazila or Thana secondary education officers were ordered to ensure implementation of the order.

    DSHE Director Mannan said they had received complaints that a number of institutions were not following the previous order. “We will ensure maximum punishment for any institution not following the directive despite repeated urgings,” he said.

    Various institutions across the country do not have proper libraries despite the availability of librarians in MPO-listed educational institutions. Even the ones with libraries are negligent about them.

    On the other hand, the public secondary educational institutions, though lacking librarians, have libraries. The class teachers have been given the responsibility of librarians. But the absence of library hours in the curriculum means that they were unable to start library classes.

    Motijheel Ideal School and College Principal Dr Shahan Ara said they had kept their library-related activities going, adding: “We need specific directions.”

    Government Laboratory High School’s headmaster Abdul Khaleq said they had a library but lacked a librarian position. “We ask our teachers to conduct library activities,” he added.

    Mokhlesur Rahman, an assistant headmaster of Meramatpur High School in Rajshahi, said routines were sent to the schools two years ago as per the government curriculum.

    “We take classes according to that routine. Library hours can be introduced if we get specific directions. But we have kept normal library activities going.”

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