There have been concerns raised at our news room surrounding text books for infant one and two students. According to several parents they are now being required by schools to buy a few of the text books that the students use. On September eight, the Ministry of Education issued a memorandum on the matter. We have been able to get a copy of that memo in which general managers of primary schools are told that parents are NOT to be required to purchase text books.
The memo further explains that under the National Textbook Program textbooks are provided for primary school students at no cost to parents. It goes on to say that the Ministry decided not to purchase the BRC Infant I and II Readers and workbooks for the school year starting in September this year because BRC has refused to quote, “adequately respond to repeated requests by the Ministry for BRC to make improvements to the content quality and format of the BRC Reading Series. Furthermore, BRC unilaterally increased the number of individual books in the series. This change in particular, created a mismatch with copies of the BRC books already in the schools.”
The reason for the mismatch is because since the inception of the textbook program, schools were required to manage the distribution, collection, and redistribution of the textbooks since it is unsustainable to replace 100% of the textbooks annually. The Ministry indicates that it will not purchase the books unless the changes they request are made to the contents of the books.
But we must note that while the Ministry claims the content in these books need improvement, some schools are of the opinion that the BRC books have served their curriculum well and have chosen to keep the book as part of it. As a result, in the memo, the Ministry says it is concerned about this, especially since BRC has distributed the Reading series to schools and some parents have proceeded to buy these text books. Parents are notified through the memo that the Ministry of Education strictly prohibits any Management or school from requiring parents to purchase these or any textbooks.
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