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Education Ministry Encourages Students to Use e-Books

The Ministry of Education and Youth is to have sensitisation sessions with students to encourage the use of electronic books (e-books).

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, made the disclosure during a post-Cabinet press briefing held on August 30 at Jamaica House.

She was responding to questions from the media regarding the lack of interest in the use of e-books.

“Ever since I came to the Ministry of Education and Youth, one of the things that parents and others have clamoured for is e-books. At the time we did not have them, and it seemed as if we were way behind in not having e-books,” Mrs. Williams said.

She noted that the Ministry allocated resources to e-books and sent out information to the schools regarding the licences and how to download the licences.

“We worked with our schools, because they are the ones who identified the students who are able to use the e-books, because you have to have a device. So, it is not as if we blindly sent out the e-books to the schools,” the Minister said.

“But when we checked, because we are able to see who has downloaded and who has not… the adoption rate is disappointing,” she added.

Mrs. Williams informed that students will only need to download the e-books once, and they will have access to it for a year.

“We want to encourage our children to avail themselves of this. It is way cheaper than the paper textbooks, so that means more of our students can have access to textbooks,” she pointed out.

The Ministry has acquired licences for 51,998 English language e-books for grades seven to 11; 15,808 Integrated Science e-books for grades seven to nine; 2,500 Principles of Accounts e-books for grades 10-11; and 1,500 Principles of Business e-books also for grades 10-11.

Approximately $158 million has been spent on e-books this year.