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  • Nov 25, 2014
  • Updated: 4:43pm
NewsHong Kong
EDUCATION

Electronic textbooks trial may herald paperless learning era in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2012, 3:53am
 

Electronic textbooks that are coming on to the market under a government funding scheme will be on average 20 per cent cheaper than traditional printed textbooks - and could herald a new era of paperless learning for Hong Kong students.

The secretary for education, Eddie Ng Hak-kim, said yesterday that his bureau would soon launch a trial run of paperless learning that would involve 88 schools.

He said the bureau would grant HK$26 million to the companies and non-profit organisations that produce 30 sets of books under the E-Textbook Market Development Scheme during the trial. "At this stage we are focusing on the effectiveness [of electronic textbooks] during experiments," he said.

The e-book scheme was announced by former education minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung, who had faced years of criticism over the dominance of a "cartel" of a few key textbook companies in the industry, which created an aggressive pricing environment at the expense of students.

The Consumer Council, which reported that some of the teaching materials were priced higher every year although they only underwent slight or no modifications, will also scrutinise the e-books.

Eight of new e-book sets cost more than the print versions.

Under the funding scheme, publishers receive a grant of up to HK$4 million, subject to conditions, that matches their own investments.

Education officials hope that the introduction of the electronic textbook scheme can open the door to new players in the market and force traditional publishers to bring down prices.

Parent Raymond Jao Ming said he hoped electronic textbooks would bring changes to the market.

"The issue of textbook prices has been going on for more than 10 years," said Jao. "I have been talking about it and now even my elder daughter has already graduated [from university]."

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ingeborg.rodarte
typically true, students are more bound to technology, and by this means , they'll surely be more interested in studying as much as they are interested on gadgets and technologies itself , the best site for quality textbooks for them to avail is the bookboon.com , this sites gives more relevant references and subject textbooks.
JpFab0313
The cost of textbooks is really an issue. There are some students who struggle in pursuing their education due to limited resources. When I knew of this site ****bookboon.com/ offering various e-books for FREE, I was intrigued that I downloaded and used a number of them for my reports. Going through them impressed me because the quality is high and the details are presented directly. If schools will make use of such resource, they can help a great number of students who want to finish school without compromising quality education.

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