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  • The Government has signed a $101 million contract with Kingston Bookshop Limited, to procure additional textbooks for the Ministry of Education to allocate to schools across the island.
  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said while there will be more books for children, there has been a significant reduction of funds spent on the scheme.
  • The Minister explained that expenditure for the National Textbook Scheme has moved down from $507.7 million in 2013/2013, to $177.5 million for 2015/2016.

The Government has signed a $101 million contract with Kingston Bookshop Limited, to procure additional textbooks for the Ministry of Education to allocate to schools across the island.

Making the disclosure at the weekly Jamaica House media briefing on July 22, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said while there will be more books for children, there has been a significant reduction of funds spent on the scheme.

The Minister explained that expenditure for the National Textbook Scheme has moved down from $507.7 million in 2013/2013, to $177.5 million for 2015/2016.

“The reduction is the result of the decision by the Ministry of Education to recover textbooks that were ordered in excess, and redistribute them,” the Minister informed.

“This followed an audit which showed that some schools were ordering more textbooks than were needed,” she added.

Under the scheme, textbooks on major subject areas are provided to thousands of students in Grades 7-11 in high schools, and Grades 7-9 in primary, junior high and all-age schools.

The Ministry of Education provides textbooks and other educational materials, free of cost, to students in Primary and Secondary schools.

Also, the Ministry has established textbook programmes at the primary and secondary levels, to assist in raising literacy levels and to help parents with the cost of their children’s education. Books and other educational materials must be evaluated and approved before they are included on the Approved Primary and Secondary Textbook Lists.

These books are thoroughly reviewed to ensure: alignment to the curriculum, eighty per cent coverage of the subject material, comprehensive approach to teaching and learning, appropriate level of instruction, durability and cultural sensitivity.