KINGSTON, July 22 (JIS): It will cost the Ministry of Education some $775 million to procure textbooks for the upcoming school year beginning in September.
Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, made the disclosure while addressing the House of Representatives on July 21.
He pointed out that the textbooks reflect the content of the Revised Primary Curriculum and the syllabi for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ), Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and the City and Guilds.
“With the exception of texts for Literatures in English, the texts provided at both levels for content disciplines are sufficiently adequate to support and reinforce the learning experiences of the students,” Rev. Thwaites said.
He added that the Ministry continues to monitor closely the use of other texts to augment its provisions, in light of the exorbitant amount that parents are expected to invest in textbooks, some of which are often not used.
The Minister also informed that the Ministry has issued guidelines for the purchase of textbooks for primary and secondary school students for the 2015/16 Academic Year.
Rev. Thwaites noted that for grades one to three, no more than two supplementary books are needed; and for grades four to six, only one workbook each is needed for science, social studies, language arts and mathematics.
He added that for grades seven to nine, no more than two supplementary texts are needed and, on average, three Literature books, approximately one per term.
Rev. Thwaites also stressed that books that are required for purchase outside of these guidelines must be based on children’s unique learning needs.
“In addition, parents may also be required to purchase dictionaries, atlases and technical equipment,” he said.