JIS News

With the new school year slated to get underway as early as next week for some schools, Information and Development Minister, Senator Colin Campbell has disclosed that Cabinet has approved a number of contracts under the government’s School Feeding and National Textbook Programmes.
He pointed out that both T. Geddes Grant and GraceKennedy and Company Limited have been awarded contracts in the sum of $41.1 million and $11.7 million respectively, “to provide supplies to the traditional and nutri bun component of the School Feeding Programme”.
The Minister was speaking to journalists yesterday (August 21), at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
Under the National Textbook Programme for secondary schools, he informed that four contracts have been approved by the government totalling some $575.7 million.
Of this total, Kingston Book Shop has been awarded $278.6 million; Carlong Publishers, $159.7 million; Sangster’s Book Store, $81.9 million, and Book Wizard Limited, $55.5 million.
Senator Campbell explained that because of the fact that rising book prices have exceeded the Ministry of Education and Youth’s budget, the quantity of books being supplied has to be adjusted downwards, “and in some categories, as far down as 75 per cent of the original amount desired”.
The Minister pointed out that although the adjustment would affect specific subject areas, more so in the vocational areas of study, “all grade seven students will receive a full set of books”.
Elaborating further on the book adjustment for vocational studies, he said some students would be required to utilise class sets, wherein the textbooks have to be returned to the teacher at the end of the class period for use by other students.
“There were indeed concerns, but the urgent thing now is to get started with the allocation which the Ministry of Education has available.to make sure that with the sums available to the Ministry, that we get these contracts in place for the supply of the books,” Minister Campbell said.

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