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Cabinet approves $94m book rental plan for schools
Cabinet yesterday agreed to a $94 million textbook rental programme for primary and secondary schools. Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who made the announcement, said parents should not buy the specified books for their children. He said the ministry would enter into an agreement with the Educational Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) to acquire the books. In response to a question Gopeesingh said the contract would be executed under the Central Tenders Board Act. He said first and second-year pupils would be provided with textbooks in the five subject areas as well work books in three subject areas. He said for Standards One to Five textbooks would be provided in the same five subject areas and one dictionary for Standard One and one atlas for Standard Three. Students in Forms One, Two and Three each would be provided with one textbook for each of the seven subject areas. Gopeesingh also confirmed the Continuous Assessment Component for the Secondary Entrance Assesment would not be implemented at the start of the school year in September as was originally intended.
He said the initiative provided for testing in physical education, agri-science, citizen development, character development, ethics and visual and the performing arts. Parents had objected to the hasty implementation at the start of the new school year in September of the new curriculum. They said it should be delayed. Recently, Gopeesingh said he was committed to implementing the initiative in September. Yesterday he said the initiative would be implemented in September for Standard Four pupils as a pilot project. He said it would be fully implemented for the academic year 2013/2014. He said there would be training programmes for teachers who have not as yet been train. Gopeesingh said the investigation into the recent leakage of the SEA results was still being carried out by police. He said, however, he was aware of a “significant breakthrough” in the matter. He said he could not elaborate.
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