Kingston, Jamaica (JIS): The government will spend $ 826 million on the acquisition of textbooks for the next school year, including electronic books (ebooks) and learning apps.
This was revealed by Education, Youth and Information Minister Fayval Williams, who noted that the ministry had provided all the textbooks needed by schools for this term.
She said about $ 626 million will be spent on materials for the primary level and $ 200 million for secondary schools under the national textbook loan program and the primary textbook program.
The minister, who was addressing a virtual press conference on Wednesday, noted that at the lower primary level (levels 1 to 3), the usual workbooks are provided for integrated studies and math.
She noted, however, that for the first time, the ministry will provide workbooks for the upper primary level (5th and 6th grade) for the new school year.
âSo parents don’t have to buy these notebooks this year. This initiative, we believe, will help alleviate the financial challenges facing parents during this COVID-19 pandemic, âsaid the Minister of Education.
Regarding the secondary level, Minister Williams noted that a blended and / or progressive approach is used, where students will have access to workbooks and textbooks on paper.
âIn addition, we will pilot e-books and other e-content for the different fields at a cost of around $ 200 million,â she said.
The minister informed that 38,000 e-books are being purchased for the new school year for the specified subjects.
For the ninth year, e-books will be available on Separate Science; Grades 7 to 11, English language; and grades 10 and 11 will have access to business and accounting principles.
âIt should be noted that most of the ebooks this year are flat books, ie PDF (Portable Document Format) and therefore are not interactive. Research shows. however, this full interactivity has more impact at the primary level than at the secondary level, âshe said.
Minister Williams further noted that at the secondary level, only one approved qualification per subject is obtained for each school.
âThis means that students will be given access codes for English For All or English Matters Book 1. The titles of books donated to each school are based on orders previously submitted by schools,â she informed.
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