Letters to the Editor, May 7, 2013

Some price cap is needed on textbooks. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

We should not be happy with mere scraps

Tuesday, 7 May, 2013, 2:22am 3 comments

Publishers say they tried to keep rises low

The average price increase is 3.2 per cent. Photo: Connie Yuk

Textbook publishers said they had tried their best to limit price rises for school textbooks, as the Education Bureau released the recommended textbook list yesterday.

4 May 2013 - 6:53am

Textbook prices set torise 3.3pc, officials say

Eddie Ng Hak-kim, Secretary for Education. Photo: Sam Tsang

Textbook prices are expected to rise by 3.3 per cent despite officials' efforts to stop the much-criticised bundling of textbooks and teaching materials that has increased the burden of cost for parents.

2 May 2013 - 5:09am

Hong Kong should press ahead in promoting e-books in schools

Officials say the e-books approved are expected to be on average 20 per cent cheaper than the printed ones. Photo: Dickson Lee

Soaring textbook prices are a headache for Hong Kong parents. The situation is further complicated by sales tactics in which publishers tie the teaching aides and study guides with textbooks to inflate the prices. After years of futile negotiations with the industry to unbundle the materials, the government has decided to finance e-publishing with a view to nurturing a rival market.

6 Dec 2012 - 3:27am 2 comments

What's being said on facebook.com/southchinamorningpost

On calls for school textbook publishers to consider their sense of social responsibility instead of going ahead with price hikes:

Jessie Tong - Publishers are businessmen and need to make a profit. Why should they alone have social responsibility to the public? Agree with use of recycled books arranged through schools.

25 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Parents feel more pain over textbooks

Despite the government's high-profile battle over textbook prices, parents will yet again have to dig deeper in their pockets to buy their children's schoolbooks, the Consumer Council said yesterday.

17 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Students 'spoon-fed'

Most teachers are spoon-feeding students in liberal studies classes, although this is discouraged, a University of Hong Kong study has found. Teachers are relying heavily on textbooks, despite guidelines that they should not do so.

9 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Liberal studies leave no room for thinking

Our public education system may be beyond reform. Every attempt at reform either ends up accentuating the very features we were trying to change or making life worse for teachers and students. Take, for example, the new liberal studies curriculum, a signature programme of the government's dismal, decade-old education reform.

7 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

iPad e-learning fears

Parents of students from St Francis of Assisi's English Primary School, in Shek Kip Mei, are unhappy about the school's decision to use e-textbooks in the forthcoming school year.

As part of the school's e-learning plan, all Primary Three students must buy an iPad for Chinese and English lessons. Poorer parents, worried by the financial burden, say they were not consulted.

26 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Doubts raised over plans to develop school e-books

The government's HK$50 million subsidy to develop the e-textbook market in an attempt to cut the rising cost of school books drew criticism from industry representatives at a briefing session yesterday.

26 Jun 2012 - 12:00am


Three cheers for small-class teaching

I support the proposal for small-class teaching in some schools.

28 May 2012 - 12:00am

Carrying the cost

Leung King-sing, a father with four children, is upset at rising textbook prices, which have deprived him of the chance to go on overseas trips with his family. The last time the Leungs, who live in Fanling, went away together was three years ago, for a stint in Beijing. Now, the money goes on textbooks.

23 May 2012 - 12:00am

Electronic textbooks should help lower costs

Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung is relying on electronic textbooks to reduce costs for parents.

Last year, Suen said the bureau would fix flaws in the market. His warning came after publishers refused to separate the sale of students' textbooks from teaching materials within a year, which officials believed could lower textbook prices.

16 May 2012 - 12:00am

E-textbooks may help parents cut costs, Suen says

The government will not publish textbooks for schools, nor will it screen publishers through a central tender to bring down book prices, Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung says.

Instead, encouraging the use of electronic textbooks might be a better alternative in reducing costs for parents, Suen said.

15 May 2012 - 12:00am

Different page

The local textbook market has been seriously distorted with prices increasing almost annually. It's a long-running problem that has effectively pitted publishers against parents, making the latter feel they are being held to ransom.

12 May 2012 - 12:00am