A survey on textbooks showed a huge gap in prices between different schools’ book lists. The school with the least expensive book list for Primary One charges only HK$509, while the most expensive list costs more than six times as much, at HK$3,089.
The council said the big difference was due to the number of books that schools want students to buy. Some ask students to only buy books for Chinese, English, maths and liberal studies, while others also ask students to buy books for computer studies, music, Putonghua and religious studies, and exercise and story books. The Education Bureau said it was concerned about the difference in prices and it would continue to monitor the amounts spent at different schools.
The price for primary textbooks has gone up by 2.2 per cent, and secondary school book prices are up 2.5 per cent. The average cost for secondary textbooks this school year is HK$2,186. The increase is greatest in Forms One, Two and Five. Book costs rose for all forms except for Form Six which saw their costs drop 2 per cent. The council says this decrease was due to the fact that sixth-formers used the fewest textbooks.