JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Education has reduced its expenditure on the procurement of textbooks for the 2014/15 academic year by 30 per cent.
  • This has resulted in a decrease in the quantity of replacement books to be purchased.
  • Over $900 million has been allocated to the National Textbook Programme for this financial year.

The Ministry of Education has reduced its expenditure on the procurement of textbooks for the 2014/15 academic year by 30 per cent.

This has resulted in a decrease in the quantity of replacement books to be purchased.

Over $900 million has been allocated to the National Textbook Programme for this financial year, with a projected $88 million to be saved and redirected to other important areas in the delivery of education.

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank session on June 6 at the agency’s Kingston headquarters, said “the players in the book industry have expressed their support for the Ministry’s rationalisation of the textbook programme despite the financial challenges it presents to their operations”.

The Ministry of Education provides textbooks annually for students in primary schools, and on a loan scheme for secondary schools.

These textbooks reflect the content of the primary curriculum from Grades one to Six; the secondary curriculum from Grades Seven to Nine, and the syllabi for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination at Grades 10 and 11.

According to Dr. McLean, the Ministry has already ordered, and is now in the process of delivering new books to primary schools, while those for high schools will be ordered shortly, and are expected to be delivered to schools in August.

“The volume of books purchased is determined by orders received from schools,”  she noted adding that “the total number of books in supply will not decrease because the Ministry has adjusted the text book replacement cycle, extending to five years the life cycle of books previously scheduled to last for three years.”

Books on the five-year cycle have been extended to seven years and as customary, the Ministry will continue to repair books that are damaged.