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Two sets of synergies to stabilize textbook shelves

The Ministry of Education and Training will coordinate with the Ministry of Finance to submit to the Government and the National Assembly solutions to stabilize the price of textbooks in the long term.

Answering questions at the parliament on the morning of June 8, Education and Training Minister Nguyen Kim Son said this will be implemented by the two ministries in the shortest time. The Ministry of Education is compiling a new circular on the specifications and standards of textbooks to better suit the current situation. “The circular contributes to the impact on the bookshelf, so we will try to do it quickly,” said Mr. Son.

Minister Son said he had asked the Vietnam Education Publishing House, an enterprise owned by the ministry, to reduce costs, reduce intermediaries, reduce issuance costs and compete fairly to reduce textbook prices. . However, currently, there are 5 units that are compiling, publishing and distributing textbooks, so influencing and directing businesses that are not managed by the Ministry is somewhat difficult.

To prevent the sale of textbooks with reference books, Minister Son said that Circular 21 on the management and use of reference publications in educational institutions prohibits principals and teachers from forcing them to do so. Suggest parents to buy books that are not on the list of textbooks. He asked local leaders to help the Ministry control this at schools to avoid causing public anger.

During the socio-economic discussion session at the National Assembly 7 days ago, Minister Nguyen Kim Son said that according to the National Assembly’s Resolution 88 on reforming the general textbook program, the compilation of textbooks is socially acceptable. socialization. Enterprises declare prices with the Ministry of Finance before publishing and issuing.

With the desire that students can buy textbooks at the lowest price, from a management perspective, the Ministry of Education and Training has increased professional and technical guidance, requiring book publishing units to be able to reuse more times, reduce costs to reduce book prices. At the same time, the publisher has a solution to provide textbooks for students in disadvantaged areas, providing free PDF books for students to access right from the release…

“One of the important and fundamental solutions is that the Ministry has sent an official dispatch to the Ministry of Finance to report to the Government and the National Assembly to add textbooks to the list that is valued by the state and has a price subsidy policy,” Mr. Son said.

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son.  Photo: Hoang Phong

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son. Image: Hoang Phong

At the question-and-answer session of the Finance Minister this morning, many delegates asked Mr. Ho Duc Phuc about the price of textbooks. Delegate Dinh Thi Ngoc Dung asked how is the declaration of book prices and whether the item is subject to price stabilization?

Minister Ho Duc Phuc replied that the declaration of textbook prices is still done by enterprises. The state only appraises prices for products purchased with the budget, but with this item, buyers will choose the best and cheapest place in the spirit of transparency and publicity.

Delegate Chau Quynh Dao has wondered for more than two years, the Committee on Culture and Education, the Ministry of Education and Training and the National Assembly deputies have repeatedly proposed the Ministry of Finance to set the price of textbooks but have not received a reply. Many years ago, the Government Office conveyed the opinion of Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, requesting the Ministry of Finance to manage the textbook shelves and set prices in accordance with the law.

“Voters and National Assembly deputies are very confused. What difficulties does the ministry have when responding to the opinions of deputies of the National Assembly? When will the textbook prices be at an appropriate level, the benefits will be harmonized, and the policy of the National Assembly will be met? Education is the top national policy of the Party and State,” said Ms. Quynh Dao.

Minister Ho Duc Phuc said that the delegate’s document has been sent to the Ministry of Finance since 2020, but he has not personally received it. If textbooks are put into the category of stabilization so that the State has to compensate for the prices, they must be included in the Law on Prices to have a basis for implementation, otherwise, they can only be directed within the price bracket. Regulatory agencies need to lobby publishers to reduce costs to lower prices.

In the 2020-2021 school year, when the new general education program begins with grade 1, the price of textbooks is 3-4 times higher than that of old books. This year, when the Vietnam Education Publishing House publicizes the bookshelf for grades 3, 7, 10, used for the 2022-2023 school year, the price continues to be higher than the old book sets. 2-3 times.

Hoang Thuy – Viet Tuan

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