JIS News

Cabinet has approved the award of a $64.5 million contract to Trinidad and Tobago-based publishers, Eniath’s Printing Company Limited to print primary school textbooks for the 2006/2007 school year.
The contract represents the cost for the printing of primary textbooks for primary and all-age schools under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture’s Primary Textbook Programme.
Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman who made the announcement at yesterday’s (March 13) weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, further revealed that the Cabinet had also approved a $10.7 million contract to United Kingdom-based Ginn Educational Publishers for the copyright to print the Ginn Primary Mathematics for Jamaica series.
“The Primary Textbook programme is an important component of the education system,” the Minister said, adding that the company securing the contract to print the textbooks “has to produce the texts for all Grades One to Six, in a range of subjects and is also expected to have the books delivered on time.”
He explained that based on the experience of recent years, “this particular firm has delivered and it obtained the contract based on its bid and on the fact that it has a track record with the Ministry and its price is within the budget for the programme.”
Under the Programme, teachers and students at the primary level are supplied an adequate supply of textbooks in the core subject areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science to facilitate critical and creative thinking.
The textbooks are provided to support the national curriculum at Grades Four to Six, the integrated curriculum at Grades One to Three as well as the Revised Primary Curriculum literacy and numeracy windows in Grades One to Three.
Responding to questions from the press as to why the contract to print the textbooks was awarded to a Trinidadian instead of a Jamaican company, Senator Whiteman explained that local printers were invited to bid, and that in fact, one local conglomerate tendered a bid but was not competitive enough.
“The reality is that over the years when we have had this exercise carried out by local providers, we have suffered from late delivery and what I would call unsatisfactory performance by the local printers.and in a globalised environment, in a CSME environment, it seems not unreasonable that you should open yourself to the possibilities of competition from outside, certainly from within the region,” Minister Whiteman explained.
This is the second consecutive year that Eniath’s Printing Company Limited has secured the contract to print primary textbooks for the country’s primary and all-age schools.

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