Agartala: Tripura government has decided to distribute free textbooks translated from NCERT curriculum to around 14,000 students studying in 73 private Bengali-medium schools, said education minister Ratan Lal Nath.

Taking to Twitter, Nath announced the development: “In respect to the current COVID-19 pandemic, our government has decided to provide free books to all Bengali Medium privately run schools (Class I to VIII).

There are approximately 73 schools with 14000 students. An estimated cost of approx 60 lakhs would be beared by our govt.”

Speaking at a press conference, Nath said that the decision was taken by the education department to help the students studying in 73 Bengali-medium schools facing problem due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the students of all government and government aided schools between Classes I and VIII, Tripura has a demand of 25,37,107 textbooks in state. We had placed order for 26,25,865 books for this session, out of which 25,39,715 books were received,” Nath said.

Earlier, the government had distributed nearly 25 lakh books to public schools through the inspector of schools, while 37,000 units are pending for distribution.

“The NCERT textbooks were translated into Bengali from Classes I to XII with the help of the teachers and the books are purchased by private Bengali medium schools. This year, we have decided to distribute those books free of cost for the students due to the lockdown situation,” Nath added.

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Speaking further, he said that the decision was taken after a number of school authorities had requested the state government to provide books during the crisis situation. “Those schools that have already purchased from the state government will be paid back through the state council of education research and training (SCERT),” Nath said.

However, the minister said that the English-medium schools would not receive the same facility since those schools have adopted NCERT curriculum but do not use textbooks prescribed for them.

Tripura has a total of 4,398 government and government aided schools in addition to 335 private schools, while around 5 lakh students are studying in all these school.

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