Parents shopping for textbooks for back-to-school can expect to pay as much as 10 per cent more than last year, in some cases.
The increase comes despite the Government's decision to roll back the general consumption tax it had imposed on textbooks during the 2012-2013 Budget Debate.
Just under two weeks ago, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites had told journalists that parents should see a considerable reduction in the money needed to provide the required books for their children, with the ministry's publication of an approved list of texts.
But checks by The Sunday Gleaner showed that while a few books had the price unchanged from last year, some reflected increases of up to 10 per cent, with the vast majority showing upwards price movement of between five and seven per cent.
One parent also pointed to a pack of writing books which had seen a 20 per cent price increase over last year.
However, Carlong Publishers, one of the major players in the book market, told The Sunday Gleaner that any increase in the price of its books would be moderate.
"Our secondary-level and primary-level supplementary books have been increased by between five and seven per cent for the 2012-2013 school year when compared to 2011-2012," said Dorothy Noel, publishing manager at Carlong.
"However, we have a major primary-level supplementary series, Integrated Studies, and these prices have been held by us," said Noel.
She said the prices of some other supplementary primary-level books have also been held steady by Carlong.
Last week, several shoppers in downtown Kingston complained bitterly about the price of the books.
"Every year dem raise up di ting dem, that's why single mothers like me ago always find tings hard," said Irvine McKenzie, a 53-year-old woman who was buying books.
Ms Mac, as she referred to herself, complained about the rise in the price of a pack of six writing books.
She told The Sunday Gleaner that last year the pack of books cost $500; now it is costing her $600. That is, an increase of 20 per cent.
"This $100 increase may seem little for average Jamaicans, but for a person (like me) who works $6,000 weekly and has to take care of four boys, it is a lot," McKenzie explained.
"The books dem really expensive, but me can't do much bout dat. Me nuh have nuh education, so me want my boy fi come get it so me affi go buy dem same way," said Theodore Smith, a 43-year-old mason.
He told The Sunday Gleaner that his most difficult part, the school fee, had already been taken care of, so he will try his best to get all the books his 16-year-old son needs.
Thwaites had told journalists that based on his ministry's survey and with its publication of an approved list, it will cost just over $6,100 to fill a book list at the grade-one and grade-two level.
It should cost just over $7,000 for grade-three books, $12,800 for grade-four books, $11,800 for grade-five books and just under $13,500 for grade-six books.
At the secondary level, the ministry claimed that books at the grades 7-9 levels should cost approximately $15,000 while grades 10 and 11 books should cost approximately $17,600.
In the meantime, parents might not have the annual Consumer Affairs Commission's (CAC) survey of book prices to show them where they can find the bargains this year.
Last Friday, the CAC said while it has completed its annual survey, it was in talks with portfolio minister Anthony Hylton about when and how the findings will be released.
Usually, the CAC releases its findings by this time to give consumers an idea of where the cheapest books can be found.