More embarrassment emerges in textbook gaffe, artist sacked
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-01-10 21:21:49.0 BdST Updated: 2017-01-10 22:02:53.0 BdST
The drama revolving round the textbook fiasco keeps unfolding with a designer-cum-artist being sacked now for the picture of a goat that has attracted much humour on social media.
Traditionally, first graders are taught "Au te Auzogor" ('O for boa', the first letter of the Bangla alphabet being pronounced 'Au', while 'Auzogor' is the Bangla word for boa).
However, NCTB authorities decided to ransack out an archaic word pronounced 'Auzo' meaning goat for teaching the alphabet.
That word was clubbed with the picture of a goat trying to stand up on two legs. The caption goes, "The goat comes. Eats mangoes."
Already in trouble over ludicrous errors in the textbooks this year, officials were left red faced as social media was quick to pick up the humour.
"Can goats climb trees?" some asked on Facebook.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid was forced to bring up the goat issue at a media call on Tuesday.
At the press conference on the issue of the blunders making their way into textbooks, Nahid came armed with a copy of the picture being circulated on Facebook.
He claimed that the picture was being tampered with by Facebook users for making fun.
He tried to defend the picture pointing out that Facebook users had made the goat climb the tree whereas the illustration in the textbook has the goat standing on its hinds trying to eat from the mango tree.
"It has been driven into public consciousness that the goat has climbed the tree.
However if your turn to page seven, you will see there are a number of fruit trees. A goat has stood up on its legs. Having stood up it is trying to eat. It has not climbed the tree. The tree is small, not big," the minister said.
Asked if including a goat standing on its hind legs was an appropriate illustration for textbooks, he replied that the matter will be 'looked into'.
Hours later, artist-cum-designer Sujaul Abedin was temporarily sacked after preliminary investigation, Education Ministry Deputy Secretary Subodh Chandra Dhali told bdnews24.com on Tuesday evening.
An official with the education ministry said on condition of anonymity, "The picture of the goat with two legs raised and trying to climb a mango tree, that is drawing criticism, was drawn by Suajul."
On Monday, in the wake of the botch, NCTB Chief Editor Pritish Kumar Sarkar and senior specialist Lana Humayra were made OSDs.
So far, action has been taken against three officials on the issue.
Rasheda K Choudhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), told bdnews24.com that they had objected to the use of the obsolete word 'Auzo'.
"We had opposed the word when it was being introduced. We had said, there is no need to confuse students, teachers and parents with an obsolete word. But they (NCTB) did not heed to it."
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