Publishers agree to unbundle three key subjects

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 June, 2011, 12:00am

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Publishers have agreed to separate sales of school textbooks from teaching materials in three key subjects, starting next year.

Their union announced the concession after education chief Michael Suen Ming-yeung warned that the government could publish school textbooks itself to break their monopoly.

From the 2012/13 academic year, primary and junior secondary textbooks in Chinese, English and maths will be priced separately from teaching aids such as CD-Roms, study notes and guides - not all of which are used by students. Officials hope the 'debundling' will lower costs for parents.

Publishers say details of the debundling exercise will be published in September.

But the Education Bureau said it was not satisfied. A spokeswoman said the bureau wanted publishers to debundle all main textbooks, including question samples and teachers' textbooks, regardless of subject, within one year.