JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Education says it is providing most of the text books required at primary schools.
  • The Ministry reiterated its call for parents to desist from purchasing the many books that are not necessary.
  • She was delivering the keynote address at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North, held on July 21, at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, in St. Andrew.

The Ministry of Education says it is providing most of the text books required at primary schools, and reiterates its call for parents to desist from purchasing the many books that are not necessary.

“We provide at least 98 per cent of the books at no cost to students at grades 1-3, so our guideline to parents is, if you are going to purchase additional materials, you should only be purchasing one supplementary reader at grades 1-3,” states Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean.

She was delivering the keynote address at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North, held on July 21, at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, in St. Andrew.

Dr. McLean told the meeting that the Ministry’s expenditure for school text books is almost $1 billion, and all the books required for the preparation of students for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), are provided to students at no cost, and “parents only need to buy the workbook, which should not cost them more than $5,000 at each grade.”

While noting that all, except one of the books for secondary school from grades 7-9, are at no cost to parents, Dr. McLean said students can continue to access the educational resources at the Jamaica Library Service, which has outlets in communities. That, she stressed, is one way of reducing the cost parents pay for books.

“We provide all the books at the secondary level, except the literature books. Again, at this level parents should not be spending more than $12,000 on the books that would be required to supplement what the Ministry provides,” she told the audience, emphasizing that the Government is ensuring that enough materials are available to ease the burden on parents.

“We are very satisfied that we have adequate materials within the school system, and within our public libraries that can serve our students,” Dr. McLean said.

The Chief Education Officer also reported that the Ministry is actively preparing for the new school year, including repairs to schools.

“Teachers are trained in different areas, and plans are being made for the implementation of new policies,” she added.