MSJ takes credit for Education Ministry’s e-book initiative

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

David Abdulah –

THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) has claimed credit for the Ministry of Education’s recent decision on textbooks.

On Monday, the ministry said new textbooks should not be added nor editions change on schools’ booklists for the next academic year.

In addition, it said an e-book platform is being considered.

But in a press release on Tuesday, MSJ leader David Abdulah said the ministry decided to “implement digital school books after the call by the MSJ to do so.”

He said the MSJ proposed e-books for primary and secondary school students – not for the first time – at a press conference on September 4.

“The MSJ therefore led the way on this issue.”

He called the government’s announcement “belated given the economic and social impacts of the covid19 pandemic.”

He said thousands of people lost their jobs and “many more thousands had no income for long periods of time.

“The Government ought to have taken proactive steps to ease the burdens on parents who had to prepare their children for the new school year. This preparation included buying school textbooks, copybooks and/or notebooks, other stationery items, book bags, uniforms, sneakers and also…money to pay for transport for their children.”

He said revised/new editions of textbooks should have been banned before 2022 and a process put in place of students “through their school, returning books for use by other students and receiving books from those who were in the year above them.”

But, he said, “The Government failed to put anything in place to help parents and especially the many thousands who are struggling financially.”