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New textbooks are expensive because of their large size and good paper

Minister Nguyen Kim Son explained that new textbooks are expensive because of their large format, good paper, from compilation to introduction, testing, and distribution by enterprises.

Discussing at a group at the National Assembly on the morning of May 25, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son explained about public opinion reflecting the situation of textbooks increasing in price 2-3 times. “I do not have to justify or explain this to the business, but provide information for delegates to know more,” he said.

When comparing the prices of textbooks, there should be similarity, ie the prices of the new compiled books according to the 2018 general education program. For example, books for grades 1, 2, 3, 7, 10 are newly compiled and socialized according to the policy of the National Assembly.

These types of books are compiled with larger format, better paper. The process from compilation to introduction, testing, and release is all done by businesses, then declares prices with the Ministry of Finance.

Minister Son cited that, with the books for grades 3, 7, 10 of the Vietnam Education Publishing House, due to drastic direction, this year decreased by 10-15% compared to the previous year, while the price of materials and fuel increased. .

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son.  Photo: MOET

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son. Image: MOET

As for the textbooks under the 2016 program, the price is lower than the new ones, because the state supports money for many stages such as compilation and appraisal. Old books are small, paper is worse. So the old textbooks cost 50,000-100,000 VND; New textbooks cost 200,000-300,000 VND depending on the type.

“It’s different compared to old books, but compared to new program books, it’s equal and more reasonable. If you compare the price of new books with old book sets organized by the State before, it’s not fair to say that the price of textbooks has increased. similarity”, said Minister Son.

Mr. Son added, the Ministry has directed the Vietnam Education Publishing House to allocate 25,000 copies of each book to students in remote areas. However, this number is still small, and other measures are needed. At the same time, when the book was not yet released, the publisher had to provide a PDF version on the website, which students could download conveniently. “The ministry is working on solutions to make textbook prices reasonable and most convenient for learners,” said Mr. Son.

Leaders of the education sector also affirmed that new textbooks can be reused, not used once and then discarded. The Ministry has directed schools to increase the purchase of textbooks to keep in the library so that students can use them many times.

Previously, discussed at the National Assembly on May 23, delegate Nguyen Anh Tri (former Director of the Central Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion), said textbooks should not be reused, every year the society costs thousands of billion more to buy books. new, causing difficulties for families with children to go to school, especially poor households.

The new general education program was approved in 2018, starting to apply to grade 1 in the 2020 school year. Accompanying the program, new textbooks are also designed and put into use. For the first time, Vietnam implemented “one program, many textbooks”.

In 2021, the program will be implemented with grades 2 and 6, then three grades 3, 7, 10 (in 2022), 4, 8 and 11 (2023), and finally 5, 9, 12 (2024).

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