The government has spent Taka 5,658.86 crore for free textbook distribution in the past eight years.
"Taka 5,658.86 crore has been spent for free textbooks distribution among students of pre-primary, primary, ebtedayee, secondary, dakhil and technical students in the eight years," National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) Chairman Prof Narayan Chandra Saha told BSS.
He said the government has been distributing free textbooks to encourage students of poor families to continue their studies, which eventually is checking drop-out rate at both primary and secondary level educational institutions.
"We will distribute 36,21,82,245 textbooks free of cost among the primary and secondary level students in academic year 2017.
The free textbooks will be distributed among 4,26,35,929 pre-primary, primary, secondary, ebtedayee, dakhil, dakhil vocational, SSC vocational, small anthropological group and visually challenged students across the country, he added.
Dr Narayan said the NCTB is working round-the-clock to reach new textbooks to students through a 'book festival' on January 1, 2017.
More than 20 crore books have already reached their destinations, he said, adding that textbooks will be made available at districts, upazilas and remote areas by December 17.
He said 60,01,024 guide books have been prepared for primary teachers while 46,66,664 books for secondary teachers. The present government started distributing free textbooks from 2010 academic year.
Education ministry officials said 333,762,772 textbooks were distributed among 4,44,16,728 students of pre-primary, primary, ebtedayee, secondary, dakhil and technical students for the 2016 academic year.
They said of the total number of books, 65,77,154 were distributed among 33,73,373 pre-primary students while 10,87,19,99 textbooks of 33 subjects were distributed among 2,45,71,731 students of Bangla and English version at primary level.
The sources said 1,92,55,615 textbooks of 36 subjects were distributed among 27,03,984 ebtedayee students, 16,30,04,373 textbooks distributed among 1,12,36,018 students of Bangla and English version at secondary level, 22,71,836 textbooks among 1,87,153 SSC vocational students and 3,39,33,797 textbooks distributed among dakhil and dakhil vocational students.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)