"This (launching of e-book) is a giant leap towards implementation of Digital Bangladesh," the premier told the launching ceremony at her office. Sheikh Hasina said the examples of her own expatriate book-loving children inspired her to launch the e-book as "previously they used to come home with bundles of books while they just carry their i-pads which get them linked to all major libraries of the world".
She added that the development would also stop black-marketing of textbooks while officials familiar with the process said the facility would particularly benefit expatriate Bangladeshi school children while they expect a large number of school children too would use the e-books. E-book is readable by digital devices like computer, e-book reader, mobile phone, PDA, CD and iPad. "The e-book will be very helpful especially for the expatriate Bangladeshi students to take preparation for primary terminal, Junior Secondary Certificate and Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations," a textbook board official said.
He said the students in the country could also read the online version of their textbooks as currently 40 percent of the schools had computer and internet facilities and the government has taken initiative to establish multimedia classrooms at 20,500 secondary schools. National project director of A2I and prime minister's private secretary Nazrul Islam Khan told BSS that the government decided to set up 20,000 multimedia classrooms at schools and madrasas across the country enabling the students' access to ICT facilities soon. "The government has already approved the budget for expanding the facility in schools and madrasas at the personal initiative of the prime minister," he said.
"The students with weak eyesight can read the e-book easily by making the font bigger on the computer screen," the official said. In future, the 'text to speech' version of textbook will be introduced for the visually challenged students. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Primary and Mass Education Minister Dr Afsarul Amin and National Project Director of Access to Information Nazrul Islam Khan also spoke at the function held at Prime Minister's Office.