If you ask a credulous student about the elaboration of ICC, he or she would definitely reply it stands for International Cricket Conference (instead of Council), similarly International Development Association has been printed as 'International Development Authority' in the latest edition of 'Bangla Academy English-Bangla Dictionary', which hit the market in June, 2015.
'Bangla Academy English-Bangla Dictionary' topped the chart of sold books, published by the academy till 2018 since 1993.
The spelling mistakes in the latest edition of the lexicon, used by a large number of students and learners are so outrageous that POE or port of entry, has been printed as 'poet of entry', raising the eyebrows of advanced students and learners.
A total of about 60 such mistakes were detected in the latest edition of the dictionary. Subsequently the first, second and third reprint of this revised and enlarged third edition were published in October, 2015, December, 2015 and February 2019 respectively.
Thus a huge number of students of schools, colleges, universities and different institutions are being baffled due to such awful mistakes in the dictionary, a flagship publication of Bangla Academy.
Some 280,000 copies of the latest edition of the dictionary, riddled with mistakes were sold between June, 2015 and December, 2019.
The academy published as many as 0.1 million copies of the dictionary in the second reprint of the latest edition in December, 2015 and all copies were sold.
The first edition, edited by late Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui hit the market in August, 1993. It was reprinted on 33 occasions. The second edition came out in January, and later reprinted on seven occasions.
The latest reprint, infested with many mistakes hit the market in February, 2019 though this correspondent drew the attention of Mr Shamsuzzaman Khan, the then Director General of Bangla Academy on November 30, 2017 to the gross mistakes.
Mr Shamsuzzaman Khan had told this correspondent he already asked the officials concerned to correct the mistakes.
He said the latest edition of the dictionary corrected some 478 mistakes published in the previous edition and the new mistakes will be corrected 'very soon' as the Bangla Academy now possesses the soft copy of the dictionary.
But after passing of two years, the Bangla Academy failed to publish an error-free new edition, wasting a large amount of money from the public coffer and misguiding the learners as well.
Abdus Selim, Editor of the Third Edition, said he has already submitted the corrected copy after obtaining it from this correspondent in late-September last year.
"It is now Bangla Academy's responsibility to publish a new edition," he told this correspondent.
Contacted, Dr Jalal Ahmed, director, sales, marketing and reprint division of Bangla Academy, said it is now not possible to publish a new edition because of the upcoming annual book fair, scheduled to begin on February 2.
That means, the readers have to buy the old edition, riddled with mistakes again this time.
The detected mistakes are as follows:
1-ADC-Agricultural Development Corporation (In fact, it should be Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation)
2-ABC elaborated as Australian Broadcasting Commission, but it should be Australian Broadcasting Corporation
3-AG- Adgutant Genetal (the printed spelling is totally wrong)
4-AID- the spelling of 'development' is wrongly printed
5-AIDS- the spelling of immune' should be 'Immune'
6-BARD-Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development, but it should be Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development
7-BDR should be deleted as it is renamed as 'Border Guard Bangladesh'
8-BNCC- the spelling of corp is shockingly printed as 'core', the spellings of 'Bangladesh' and 'national' are also printed wrongly
9-BSTI- not 'standard' but 'standards'
10-BSS- Sangbad is wrongly printed as 'Sangbed'
11-Cantab- world-famous Cambridge is mentioned as 'combridge'
12-CARE is now 'Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere', but the dictionary mentioned it as 'Co-operative for American Relief Everywhere'
13-COD- not 'Department' but 'Depot'
14-CU- Chittagong spelling is wrong
15-DC- Columbia- spelling is wrong
16-DD- draft spelling is wrong
17-DM-'Deutsche' Mark is wrongly spelled
18-DOS- 'system' is used twice, one with wrong spelling
19-DPI-'Public' is wrongly spelled
21-Email- why L is in capital letter?
22-ENA- not needed, because it remained closed for decades
23-EPI- on immunization, not of immunization
24-Feb- spelling mistake
25-Fig- figure-spelling is wrongly printed
26-Fob- board is printed as 'bored'
27-FRCS- not surgeone, but surgeons
28-Fr- not Frence, but French
29-GATT- the following sentence should be added -- predecessor of World Trade Organisation (WTO)
30-H bomb- hydrogen is printed as 'hydorgen'
31-HDL- lipoprotein-spelling is wrongly mentioned
32-HP-California-based Hewlett-Packard should be added, in addition to horse power, hire purchase
33-HQ- headquarters-spelling mistake
34-IBS- 'studies' should be Studies
35-IBA-DU should be mentioned because IBA, Karachi is also famous
36-ICC- not International Cricket Conference, but International Cricket Council
37-IDA- not International Development Authority, but International Development Association
38-Kb-the following part may be added to make it clear to learners-a unit of computer memory or data equal to 1,024 bits.
39-KGB- Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, it should be mentioned that it was the main state security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until 6 November 1991.
40-LLD- Printed as 'Doctor of Low' instead of Doctor of Law
41-LLM- Printed as 'Master of Low' instead of Master of Law
42-LMF should be-Licentiate of Medical Faculty, instead of 'Licenciate of the medical feculty'
43-LPT- printed as Line Printer, but it should be Line Printer Terminal
44-LSD-should be-Lysergic acid diethylamide
45-MCPS-should be-Member of College of Physicians & Surgeons in addition to Megacycles per second, but it is now obsolete and the updated elaboration is Megachips per second, a measure of the speed at which chips can be generated by a circuit.
46-NASA- 'and' is printed as 'snd'
47-OIC now 'Organization of Islamic Cooperation', not Organization of Islamic Conference
48-OPEC- Petroleum is printed as 'Petroleun'
49-POE-port of entry is printed as 'poet of entry'
50- QED-quod instead of 'guod'
51-Revolutions per minute instead of 'Revolution' per minute
52-SPCC-should be-Society for the Protection & Care of Children instead of 'Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Children'
53-TNT- should be-trinitrotoluene, instead of trinitrotoluen
54-UNICEF- should be United Nations Children's Fund, because in 1953, the words "international" and "emergency" were officially dropped from the organization's name.
55-UPS-the spelling of the first word is wrong
56-VGA- Video Graphics Array is printed as 'Vidro Graphics Array'
57-VIP-'Very' is printed as 'Vert'
58- WMO-World Meteorological Organization is printed as 'World Meteriological Organization'
Moreover, the following abbreviations should be added in the 'common abbreviations' chapter considering their growing public exposure and also keeping the aridity of the dictionary's 'common abbreviations' part at bay.
They are : AI (Amnesty International and also Artificial Intelligence), AFP, (if AP and PTI are included, then why not AFP as it is a globally known news agency), BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission), Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC), Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), BGMEA-Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, BASIS (Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services), BIRDEM (Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders), BMET (Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training), Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE), Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), ECNEC (Executive Committee of National Economic Council), FBCCI (Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry), GDP (Gross Domestic Product), ICT (Information and Communications Technology and also International Crimes Tribunal-Bangladesh), IDRA (Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority), LDC (Least Developed Country), NBR (National Board of Revenue), RMG (ready made garments), TIB (Transparency International, Bangladesh),WTO (World Trade Organisation), etc.
BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) should be included in the list as it is the most powerful body of the government to ensure the digitalisation of the country. It is very funny that Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) does exist in the list but not BTRC.
Similarly, APB (US) was elaborated as 'All Points Bulletin' ignoring the local security outfit-Armed Police Battalion.
"Being a purely government-owned agency under the ministry of cultural affairs, the Bangla Academy, perhaps took the issue cavalierly and that's why, our students are not getting an error-free edition of the lexicon," Mohammad Hossain Babul, an English teacher of Dhaka's Ideal School & College, told this correspondent.
"When a book's new edition is published, obviously it contains the update, but in case of Bangla Academy, we just see the reverse, it is very unfortunate" Abul Hasanat Faruq, a retired teacher of Motijheel Central Government Boys' High School said.
Experts said the education sector in Bangladesh remains in a state of atrophy and lack of quality teachers as well as error-free textbooks is the main reason for the melancholy performance of our students in the competitive job market.
The Bangla Academy cannot ignore the issue like an ostrich as dictionaries are dubbed the handmaiden of osmosis.
Publishing another revised edition is not an ossified system and further dawdling will cause more damages to our education sector as we see growing concerns about such dissipation of public money.
"The nation is already plagued by deplorable state of education as far as quality is concerned and such gross errors in the reference and text books cannot be tolerated. I am appalled," said a senior professor of English Department of Dhaka University, preferring anonymity.
Bangla Academy was once an iconic institution to display intellectual ethos of our country and many of its published books are recognised by scholars and advanced readers of both Bangladesh and India.
But such mistakes are affront to the fundamental tenets enshrined in the charter of Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, where Bangladesh is making a good progress. This is also a blow to the country's efforts to build an erudite society.
"It has compounded our knowledge industry's fecklessness with mental recklessness, plunging us into turmoil," the DU professor commented.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh could achieve only a little more than half the targets set by the World Bank Group for 84 projects and programmes including education in the last four years, according to a draft performance review report of the World Bank Group.
The government's weak capacity has been blamed behind the slow implementation of the projects, according to the report.
The review report said while access to education is improving, progress in ensuring its quality is inconclusive.
Some 700,000 out-of-school children were enrolled in primary schools, and 10.3 million poor students from 215 poorest upazilas are receiving stipends at the secondary level, surpassing the target.
Experts believe such errors in core textbooks will only exacerbate the deplorable situation in the education sector.