Textbook Prices rise on average 6 percent

3998273376.jpgJamaicans will pay an average increase of 6% for textbooks this academic year. This is the word from the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) based on a survey of 130 text books (13 infant, 36 primary and 81 secondary), in 47 book outlets across the island. However, within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) the average percentage increase is 5% which is 8% less than last year. With regards to the average price increase within Other Urban Centres the average increase is 5% which reflects a 7% decrease over the 2014 prices.    
The Annual School Textbook Survey, conducted between July 29 and August 7, is based on an analysis of price movements. It should be noted that during the July 2014 – July 2015 period, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica recorded an inflation rate of 3.8%.
Islandwide, the average price movement amongst secondary texts revealed an increase of 6%; while for primary and infant level texts, the average increase was 5%.
The prices for infant, primary and secondary level textbooks were all found to be competitively priced as there was no significant variation among the outlets surveyed.

While most books have seen an increase in the shelf price, a few books have seen a price reduction. The most significant price increase was 67%, recorded by the Secondary level text: Advanced Spanish Vocabulary (Second Edition) by Isabel Melero Orta. The most significant price reduction was 43%, for the Secondary level text: Basic Needle Work (Fifth Edition) (Metric) by Winefride M. Bull.

 In terms of availability, islandwide, 87 of the 130 books were readily available in the bookstores surveyed. Infant level textbooks had an overall availability rate of 82%, compared to 73% for primary level texts and 49% for secondary texts. Texts from the more technical or less popular subject areas like Technical Drawing and Metal Work were less available. Infant, primary and secondary level books on average were available in 50% of the outlets surveyed. Generally, infant and primary level texts comprising mainly workbooks had more availability across all outlets. However, as it relates to the general availability of books across 2014 and 2015 of comparable texts, there was an increase of 10%. More specifically, in the Greater KMR the availability decreased by 15%, but in other Urban Towns there was an increase of 7%.
The CAC is urging parents to utilise the approved list endorsed by the Ministry of Education and, where possible, utilise the National Textbook Rental Scheme or purchase pre-owned books. Parents should also take advantage of price decreases/ sales or discounts and if a book is under revision, purchase the most current edition.  The Commission is also urging bookstores to assist purchasers to identify updated versions of books, that they purchase the correct books, and sell old stock at lower prices.
For detailed information on the Annual School Textbook Survey, visit the Consumer Affairs Commission website www.cac.gov.jm for the full report.

Download Textbook Survey Report (PDF)


The Communications Unit
Consumer Affairs Commission
34 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10,
Tel: 1 876-906-5425/906-8568
Mobile: 564-8942/Email: JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

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