Distribution of textbooks will commence during the first week of the new school year, which begins on Monday, September 5, says Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams.
According to the Minister, approximately $2 billion has been spent to purchase textbooks for students at the primary and secondary levels for the 2022/2023 academic year.
She was addressing teachers at the 58th annual Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Conference, held at Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, Montego Bay, St. James, on Wednesday, August 24.
“This year, we are spending a billion dollars on textbooks in our primary schools and a similar amount in our high schools, and this has not been done in our high schools in a long time. And so, principals and teachers, you will see more books,” the Minister said.
“I can report that with regard to books, primary school procurement is completed, and distribution is to commence in the first week of school. For our secondary schools, the books are already here in Jamaica, and they will be out by the first week of school,” Mrs. Williams added.
In the meantime, she indicated that the Ministry would continue the rollout of electronic textbooks (eBooks) in secondary institutions for the new academic year.
She informed that students from grades 7 to 11 will access English Language textbooks in electronic formats, which will be sent directly to their email addresses.
“During the pandemic, we piloted eBooks, and we will continue to roll out eBooks this upcoming school year. All our children from grades seven to 11 will have their English 1, 2, and 3 books and CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) English books in electronic format. We have all of the email addresses for all our students, and we will directly send the students to link to them so that they can access the books,” Mrs. Williams indicated.
The Minister reiterated that the Ministry would continue to get more eBooks into the education system, “so that all our students can have access to textbooks for themselves”.
The three-day conference, which commenced on Monday (August 22) was held under the theme ‘Revisiting the Foundation: Building our Human Capital Through Equitable Educational Opportunities.