More than 90 per cent of principals are opposed to a plan to sell textbooks and teaching materials separately from Septermber. Publishers' groups yesterday urged the Education Bureau to delay the plan. Two publishers' groups suggested that the plan be put on hold until 2012 and until further talks were held. The survey, which was commissioned by the Hong Kong Educational Publishers Association and the Anglo-Chinese Textbook Publishers Organisation, interviewed 220 primary and secondary headmasters in January. It showed that more than half of respondents said their schools lacked funds to buy teaching resources, which are given free to schools by publishers to promote their books. More than 80 per cent of respondents thought the government should provide a new fund for schools to buy teaching materials when putting the plan in place. Publishers are being asked to separate, or 'debundle', textbooks and learning and teaching materials after the government adopted the recommendation included in a year-long review on e-learning development in October last year. Two-thirds of the headmasters said they would buy fewer teaching materials, or none at all, if they were financially strapped. Just under 60 per cent said they would ask teachers to prepare the materials. Leung Siu-tong, principal of HKFEW Wong Cho Bau School, said his school might need to cut its spending for other resources for students. 'We may need to cut field trips and outings to have the money to buy teaching resources,' Leung said. Ho Hon-keung, vice-principal of Elegantia College, said: 'If the government insists on going ahead with the plan unilaterally, our only option is to ask our teachers to prepare the materials. I'm worried that it would lead to teachers retiring early because they cannot bear the workload.' Wong Wai-man, president of the Educational Publishers Association, said the sector hoped the government would strike a balance between the interests of parents, teachers and publishers. 'We hope the government can defer the plan and sit down to talk about it again,' Wong said. The bureau disagreed that there was a lack of consultation on the plan, saying it had held public consultation sessions and two forums, and had conducted polls to collect parents' opinions.