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POST TIME: 17 June, 2021 05:30:02 PM
Publications industry faces challenges due to closure of education institutions
Banglabazar, Aziz Market and Nilkhet were once bustling with students and sales were very nice but since the epidemic there are a few trades today. The country's publishing houses are in a great crisis and they have already lost hundreds of crores taka.
Majhar Mannan

Publications industry faces challenges due to closure of education institutions

Educational institutions have been closed for a long time due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic and as a result the publishing industry in Bangladesh is in dire straits and facing challenges. Book publishers dreamed of making a profit by selling books at Ekushey Book Fair, but they stumbled there too and some of them had to face loss. Many people make a living by working in publishing houses and if the publishing houses are active they can get a fairly good salary and run smoothly. When educational institutions are open, book publications remain active because the biggest buyers of books are school and college and university students. Many of those who worked at the book's publication have already lost their jobs, and many have had their pay cuts and are living inhumane lives. In fact, the operation of educational institutions involves the livelihood of many types of people and many types of business are related to it, but the livelihoods of such people are threatened due to the closure of educational institutions for a long time. The salaries of teachers and staffs of private schools, colleges and universities have already been slashed and some of them have been laid off. Private universities are unable to re-admit students due to the epidemic and the closure of educational institutions, which has put them under financial pressure and they are unable to pay teachers and staff properly. In fact, the closure of the educational institution for a long time has caused multi-dimensional problems. It has not only affected teachers, students and parents but has also affected the publishing industry and at the same time has had a negative impact on the various library businesses in the country. Many people in the country make a living by running a library business or selling books. Today, due to the Covid-19 epidemic, educational institutions are closed and their book sales have reduced largely, leading them to a miserable life.

Banglabazar, Aziz Market and Nilkhet were once bustling with students and sales were very nice but since the epidemic there are a few trades today. The country's publishing houses are in a great crisis and they have already lost hundreds of crores taka. Book publishers have said that since the onset of the corona epidemic, there has been hardly sale of books and a few orders for books from different parts of the country.

They further say that their book sales through online are unsatisfactory. Many parents in the country are facing financial crisis due to the corona epidemic which has made it impossible for their children to buy books regularly and this has affected book publishers. Students are staying at home due to the closure of educational institutions for a long time and they have moved away from real education and they are no longer buying books regularly. Recruitment tests were closed for a long time due to the Karna epidemic and recruiters did not buy any books during this period which has affected the book publishing industry. Recruitment tests were closed for a long time due to the epidemic and job seekers did not buy any books during this period which has affected the book publishing industry. A publishing company has to invest heavily to keep it afloat, and it is not possible for those books publishers who have already invested heavily to close down the business if they wish. According to various private surveys, the business of the publishing industry has declined by 90 per cent during this period.

Even after the book fair ends every year, the nationwide trade continues for two months, but this year it has not been possible, which has led to a major collapse in the publishing industry. Bangladesh's publishing houses have been shut down for a long time since the advent of the covid-19 virus in the country, which has resulted in huge losses.

In this situation, the book publishers of Bangladesh have sought the cooperation of the government and they have said that if the books are bought regularly from different wings of the government, then they will be relieved from this loss at least a little bit. Academics have already given their views and suggestions for reopening the educational institutions and they have said that although it is not possible to open all the educational institutions at once, the educational institutions can be opened in phases depending on the situation. Many people's lives and livelihoods are closely linked with education and if the educational institutions are closed for a long time then their livelihoods are under extreme threat and challenge. So, the responsible authorities should come up with a specific plan or master plan on how to open an educational institution so that it is possible to get out of this situation very easily. Experts say that if a large part of the population cannot be vaccinated, then the corona will not be fully controlled, so in this case, a definite plan must be taken to bring the students under the vaccination program.

The number of students in Bangladesh is about 4 crore and if these four crore students are to be brought under the immunization programme, it will take a long time and if the educational institution is closed for such a long time, the amount of loss will increase much more so quick steps have to be taken in their immunization programme. The concerned authorities must be more vigilant in order to revive the livelihood of the people involved in education by opening the educational institutions in phases otherwise they will face more dangers. In areas where covid-19 virus infection is very low, educational institutions can be gradually reopened following strict health regulations. The closure of educational institutions is causing irreparable loss to the students and at the same time hindering their mental and physical development and they are getting addicted to various online technologies including mobile and going astray. However, the concerned authorities must think deeply about how to keep the livelihood of the people involved in education afloat and take any alternative steps. Due to the Karna epidemic, the number of unemployed people in the country has increased a lot and the recruitment process in the educational institutions has been closed for a long time, so if the educational institutions can be reopened in phases, this unemployment will reduce to some extent. However, with the gradual opening of educational institutions in the country, the country's publishing houses and library businesses will be reactivated and the people associated with it will be able to lead a better life.

The writer is Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College, Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment.