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Ministry Spent $11 Million On Textbooks, Akbar Reveals

The textbooks are provided free by the Government, however, if students lose a textbook, then the student will have to pay for losing it or find a replacement.
16 Jan 2020 10:45
Ministry Spent $11 Million On Textbooks, Akbar Reveals
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Rosy Akbar.

Eleven million dollars were spent in the past five years on textbooks alone, says Minister Rosy Akbar.

The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts confirmed this yesterday while speaking to heads of schools from Ba and Tavua during a meeting at Xavier College in Ba.

The figure was based on a textbook audit that she initiated because every year the ministry gives out the required number of textbooks to the schools, but the same requests were made every year.

“I’m saddened by the fact that we seem to be getting the same requests every year,” the minister said.

“The textbook audit should reveal why we are getting the same requests year in and year out. So, this year we have devised a plan and forms have been given to schools to record.”

The textbooks are provided free by the Government, however, if students lose a textbook, then the student will have to pay for losing it or find a replacement.

She said each student was required to use the textbooks responsibly.

“If a child is being given a textbook in a satisfactory condition, then we expect them to return the book in good condition. And parents must also take responsibility because these are Government resources,” she said.

“Based on what the audit reveals to us, we will be better prepared next time with the textbooks because that’s $11 million already spent.”

She also emphasised on the number of vacant teaching positions.

“We already have 70 vacancies and more than 1900 transfer requests. We have actually done marvelously in terms of accommodating 916 teacher transfers, but the fact is that not everybody gets a teacher transfer when they apply,” she said.

“We will prioritise transfers and make our work more streamlined.”

Ms Akbar also revealed that the ministry would be appointing a new Director for Secondary Education.

“We will be appointing a new Director of Secondary Education in the next couple of weeks,” the minister said.

“I cannot reveal his name but he is one of the very senior administrators in one of the schools,” she said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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