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  • The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is urging parents to prioritise when purchasing textbooks for the new school year.
  • “The annual textbook survey shows a two per cent decrease in the textbook prices, from six per cent in 2015 to four per cent in 2016, so consumers should use the decline as an opportunity to save..." Chief Executive Officer at the CAC, Dolsie Allen
  • The survey was designed to supply consumers with information to help them find the most affordable textbooks.

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is urging parents to prioritise when purchasing textbooks for the new school year.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on August 24, Chief Executive Officer, Dolsie Allen, said parents should consult the schools to find out the recommended books for the first half of the school year before buying.

“This will help you to budget better. Do not purchase all the books from the list at once, utilise the approved list endorsed by the Ministry of Education,” Mrs. Allen advised.

She also recommended that parents utilise the National Textbook Rental Scheme or purchase pre-owned books as a means of cutting cost.

“The annual textbook survey shows a two per cent decrease in the textbook prices, from six per cent in 2015 to four per cent in 2016, so consumers should use the decline as an opportunity to save. The survey is designed to provide consumers/parents with cost-effective options to make purchases,” Mrs. Allen explained.

For her part, Director of Research at the CAC, Charmaine Thomas, noted that parents should ask if the books are under revision before making a purchase, in order to ensure that the most current edition of the book is being bought.

Mrs. Thomas added that parents should also come together to sell or exchange the textbooks their children no longer use.

She further suggested the purchasing of electronic copies of textbooks as another option, but urged parents to “stick to the reputable sources”.

The CAC partnered with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to conduct the annual textbook survey between July 25 and August 5, 2016 in 13 parishes across Jamaica. The survey was designed to supply consumers with information to help them find the most affordable textbooks.

Consumers can visit the CAC’s website to compare prices for particular textbooks across stores at: http://www.consumeraffairsjamaica.gov.jm/