Education Ministry Spends $1 Billion on Textbook Programme


The Ministry of Education and Youth has spent $1 billion on its Textbook programme for the new academic year.
This was disclosed at a back to school press briefing held at the Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices yesterday (July 24).
The Education Minister, Maxine Henry-Wilson noted that 700,000 workbooks and textbooks valued at $300,000,000 have been ordered for students in Grades One to Six in all Primary, All-Age and Junior High Schools, adding that students will have use of the books for two years.
“I am pleased to report that the books are already in the island and will be distributed in good time. Just under 300,000 are already in storage and the remainder will be cleared from the wharves shortly. Distribution to schools will begin in August,” Mrs. Henry-Wilson said.
She also informed that contracts valued at $610 million have been awarded to four companies including: Bryan Bookstore, Book Wizard, Carlong Publishers and Sangster’s Bookstores, to supply and distribute books for the National Textbooks Rental Scheme for high schools.
Text for the rental programme cover 28 subject areas including the Sciences, Mathematics, Languages, Business Studies, Technical Studies, Information Technology, Agricultural Science and Drama. High School students will receive textbooks for core subjects free of charge.
“Some institutions in Kingston and St. Andrew have already received their orders and the remaining deliveries will begin by August 2,” the Minister added.
Mrs. Henry-Wilson also said that a fifth contract to print 70,000 textbooks for the Grade Seven Language Arts and Grade Eight Social Studies Foundation programmes has been awarded to Eniath’s Printing Company. These books will be distributed in September.
In the meantime, the Minister cautioned primary-school administrators to refrain from giving students unnecessary book lists, noting that the required books are provided by the Ministry free of cost.
“We continue to be determined that schools should not be sending to parents, (of) especially children in primary schools, these hefty book lists because they are being provided by the Ministry,” Mrs. Henry-Wilson said.
“If the school has a particular preference, then they have to find a way to ensure that the children have access to those books, but the books we are sending them are the books that are compatible with the new revised primary curriculum where we have all the teachers’ guides that go with them,” she continued.

JIS Social