Adding his voice to the controversy surrounding the recent implementation of a new textbook policy for secondary schools, United Workers Party (UWP) leader Allan Chastanet has since called on government to review it with immediate effect.
Chastanet cited high cost of living as one of the main reasons why government should review this policy.
The UWP leader said that not only are textbooks very costly, but the new policy requires a whole lot of spending, which families here can hardly afford. He said it is an insensitive policy decision, which should not have been implemented without proper consultations.
“I am appealing to this government to review its policy. It cannot and should not implement a system of asking people to change text books; they do not have the money,” he explained.
Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis has noted that the changes in the booklist is necessary and are in keeping with adjustments made in the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) curriculum. He maintained that it was not a Ministry of Education decision to change the booklist, but that of the examining body. Textbooks are the same for the primary academic departments.
However, the ministry has been heavily criticised for this move. Parents have been complaining that the cost for these new textbooks are too high and are out of their budgets for back-to-school shopping.
While textbooks are usually passed down from one family member to another, this will no longer be useful, as most of the textbooks are now changed.