National Curriculum and Textbook Board

National Curriculum and Textbook Board was established as the East Pakistan School Textbook Board (EPSTB) in 1954 with the objective of development, approval, publication and distribution of syllabi and textbooks of all classes from the primary to the secondary level. The EPSTB is an autonomous body and run by a 5-member board with a chairman as its chief executive. The organogram of the board changed over time. Prior to 1972, the board followed the practices of approving through open competition more than one textbook on the same subject in a particular class.

After independence, there was an immediate need for developing new textbooks keeping with the demand of the new generation of students. During 1971-77 the School Textbook Board was engaged in the assessment, revision and rewriting of textbooks for classes of the primary and the secondary levels. The National Curriculum and Syllabus Committee (NCSC) was constituted in 1976. The Committee prepared its report in the light of the recommendations of the Qudrat-E-Khuda Education Commission Report of 1974. The government entrusted the Textbook Board with the responsibility of implementing the country's new curricula and syllabi and the Board did it between 1978 and 1983.

National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) was created in 1981 as a department under the Ministry of Education to consolidate the country's education system covering the pre-primary to pre-university levels (general, technical and vocational education, teachers training and madrasah education). Its task was to scientifically revise, renew, develop and evaluate the curricula. It started the implementation of curricula and syllabi from the pre-primary to the higher secondary level. The Centre also provided the Textbook Board with technical and professional assistance in the implementation process. In 1983, the National Curriculum Development Centre and the Bangladesh School Textbook Board were merged together and renamed as the Bangladesh National Textbook Board. Later this became known as the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB).

The Board is responsible for development and improvement of the curricula and syllabi for all types of education in the pre-university levels, preparation, publication and distribution of textbooks and teachers' guides and supplementary reading materials, and training of teachers.

The chairman is the chief executive officer. In addition, there are four members, each taking care of one of the following areas: curriculum, textbook, finance, and primary curriculum.

In addition to its spacious administrative building, NCTB has some residential buildings for its officials and employees and also about 4.05 acres of land at Jaidevpur for establishing a printing complex. NCTB manned by 398 officers and other staff. Every year it publishes about 45 million copies of books on 33 subjects for the primary level and 12 million copies of books on 60 subjects for the secondary level. Altogether, NCTB is thus the country's single largest publishing house. [Shafiul Alam]