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JIS News

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), will be conducting a textbook survey this month, which will provide the public with a price list of books available in stores across the island, to help parents better plan their budget for back-to-school shopping.
“The CAC has, for the last 11 years, conducted a textbook survey and this survey is primarily to serve the consumers and to have a clear understanding as to the availability and price of books,” said Miss Dorothy Campbell, Communications Specialist at the CAC.
She told JIS News that there are 120 textbooks on the survey list, 89 of which are at the secondary level and 31 at the primary level. A total of 78 outlets will be surveyed, 27 in the Kingston Metropolitan Area and the rest from rural towns.
Miss Campbell pointed out that for the next two weeks, CAC survey officers would be visiting bookstores islandwide, to check their prices for primary and secondary textbooks.
“When the officers go in, they are escorted around the store. They go through the texts as they are on the shelves and check the prices and record the information,” she explained.
In terms of the support from the bookstores, Miss Campbell pointed out that, “the owners are co-operating, they expect us, because after 11 years, it is now becoming routine…they are very helpful and accommodating.”
By mid-August, she further informed, all information and data would be collated and available to the public. She added that the findings from the survey, including the prices, would be posted on the CAC’s website at www.consumeraffairsjamaica.gov.jm and the media would also be provided with the information, in order to assist with the dissemination of the findings.
Meanwhile, the Communications Specialist urged parents to exercise proper money management and spend wisely when shopping around for textbooks.
“Try and find out exactly what the kids need for the term and start with that immediate term. Do not try to shop for everything for the entire year and put yourself under unnecessary stress,” she advised.
She stressed that parents should avoid purchasing the wrong textbooks and take along a copy of the booklist when shopping, rather than relying on memory.
“It is important to match the author’s name, the volume, the book number, whether it is Book One or Book Two, whether or not it is the revised edition…they have to check for these things, because each year or very soon after one edition, you have a new edition being published,” she emphasised.
Miss Campbell added that parents should “ensure that textbooks are wrapped, kept in good condition and that no permanent marks are made in them. This way, you can sell or exchange them next term, thus reducing next year’s back-to-school expenses.”
She also advised parents to explore all the possible options of sourcing textbooks, including the school book rental scheme, second hand books from family and friends, as well as from stores that offer second hand books for sale.
For further information on the textbook survey or back-to-school tips, persons may call the CAC at 926-1650-2 or visit its website.