Gov't spends millions on textbooks
The Government has spent $800 million to procure textbooks for the 2016-17 academic year.
Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid made the disclosure during a back-to-school press conference at the ministry's Heroes Circle offices in Kingston recently. He informed that the delivery of books to schools has started and will be completed by September 30.
Senator Reid said the ministry provides core texts and materials for both primary and secondary institutions under the National Textbook Loan Scheme and the Primary Textbook Programme. He noted that titles that appear on the 2016 to 2017 approved textbooks list offer adequate curriculum coverage.
"Therefore, schools must not include on their booklists, revision textbooks that address only a few areas of the curriculum or syllabus," he said. He also said the ministry has partnered with the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) this year in conducting textbook surveys. The research indicates that consumers will pay an average increase of four per cent in the price of texts this academic year. The CAC is encouraging parents to utilise the ministry's approved lists when making their purchases and where possible, the National Textbook Rental Scheme or buy pre-owned books.
"Parents who haven't yet purchased textbooks are also urged to take advantage of lower prices where they are available, but ensure that a proper receipt is collected and retained should a complaint arise," Reid said.