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JIS News

The Government is to spend close to $930 million on approved text books at the primary and secondary levels for this academic year.
“We are spending an amount of $370.2 million at the primary (level), and at the secondary level we are spending $559.60 million. This will give us a total of around $930 million roughly,” Assistant Chief Education Officer for the Media Services Unit, in the Ministry of Education, Ms.Olive Maragh, said in an interview with JIS News.
She noted that this cost represents a reduction in the total amount that was spent on approved texts during the last academic year.
Ms. Maragh said that the reduction in the cost was due primarily to a wider range of suppliers, to which the Ministry has access.
“This year we have a number of suppliers…and so we were able to get, as it were, value for our money. In one instance, we were able to save at the primary level, $200 million. Because of the number of suppliers that were invited at this time, there were some who were able to give us better prices, so we could make a selection from those quotations,” she told JIS News.
In the meantime, she noted that new titles would be added to several areas at the secondary level. “We are allowed to have four titles per subject per grade, so if we add three new titles, then it means that three of the older ones would have gone out of the system, because education is dynamic (with regard) to content and change and the syllabuses that will be used. So, we have to make sure that the books will match the content of the syllabuses too,” she said.
Ms. Maragh informed that at the upper and lower secondary levels, new titles have been added in six subject areas. Three new titles have been added for English Language at grades seven to nine, while for grades 10 and 11, another three new titles have been added. For Social Studies at grades seven to nine, two new titles have been added, while for grades 10 and 11, one new title has been added. For Geography, for grades 10 and 11, three new titles have been added, while for History, in grades 10 and 11, one new title has been added.
She further noted that one new title has been added for Music, at grades 10 and 11, while for the new subject area, which is called Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM), three new titles have been added. EDPM is the subject which has replaced typewriting. She added that no new titles have been added at the primary level.
Ms. Maragh is advising parents and guardians to use the various mediums, such as print and electronic, to keep abreast of the books that are available through the schools, in order not to purchase them.

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