pages summarize detailed reports prepared by regional consultants
for this study. Unfortunately, not all regional reports were
received when the survey was completed. The authors of the full
reports were: for South Asia, Dr Abul Hasan ( Director, Afro-Asian
Book Council); for Central Asia and Caucasus and for Central
and Eastern Europe, Dr Frances Pinter (Executive Director of
the Center for Publishing Development), and Snejana Slantcheva,
(Policy Fellow, both of the Open Society Institute, Budapest);
for the Pacific Islands, Linda Crowl (Publications Fellow of
the Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific,
Fiji); for the anglophone Caribbean, Ian Randle (Managing Director
of Ian Randle Publishers, Kingston, Jamaica). Cheryll Stringer
analysed the responses to the ADEA/UNESCO questionnaire from
Africa. The last five paragraphs of the report on the Pacific
Islands are based on a report by Don Long (Learning Media, New
Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka South
Asia is a large subcontinent encompassing tiny, isolated states
and the world's second most populous country, differing political
systems and economic development, multilingual, bilingual,
and unilingual countries, and wide differences in the level
of literacy, book production, and educational development.
With the breakdown of traditional support networks, increased
mobility, and urbanization, there is increasing demand for
literacy. All the countries place an emphasis on primary education,
and in most of them textbooks are provided free of charge.
Yet 38% of South Asia's children do not reach grade 5, despite
high primary-level enrolments.
universal primary education is free and compulsory, and textbooks
are supplied to students free of charge. Work books, teachers'
guides, and other learning materials are, however, reported
to be in short supply. Textbooks are written by staff of the
National Curriculum and Textbook Board, which also contracts
their production and sells them to government. Financial allocations
to education rose 46% between 1995-6 and 1999-2000, in part
with the help of international loans, and free books were
extended to adult literacy centres. Bangladesh is the only
country in South Asia with a national book policy, but the
committee entrusted to implement it has never met and the
plan remains a blueprint. Books are produced in substantial
numbers - some 9,300 textbooks and other educational materials
at all levels in 1996 - but the quality is poor and most publishers
concentrate on the higher secondary and tertiary levels and
on cheap guides to passing examinations. Professional skills
are not highly developed. Many books are published by the
authors themselves. There is no copyright protection and few
libraries. Voluntary organizations and CSOs promote readership
and non-formal education.
the least developed country in South Asia, provides free education
to grade 10. The traditional monastic education is based largely
on oral communication and does not support a reading/writing
culture, and the fact that English is the official language
impedes writing and publishing in the national language, Dzongkha.
Bhutan is reported to have published only 32 books in 1998.
Most of the people who can read are first-generation literates.
The Ministry of Health and Education has developed textbooks
up to grade 8; for higher grades textbooks are imported from
India. Supplies of textbooks, work books, and teachers' guides
are adequate but their printing costs are high and delivery
is difficult to remote areas. The government has been providing
textbooks free of charge, but in an effort to reduce costs
is gradually withdrawing its support for them and stationery
from schools in urban and better-off areas. To encourage post-literacy
and continuing education, the government has produced readers
in English and Dzongkha, and with UNICEF support sponsors
an annual National Reading Week and Book Fair.
which also has free compulsory primary education, provides
free textbooks - in general, for boys to grade 3 and for girls
to grade 5. Parents must first buy the books, however, and
then obtain reimbursement. The system penalizes poor families,
and some prescribed books do not qualify for reimbursement.
The curriculum and textbooks are in Nepali, which presents
difficulties for the 48% of the population for whom it is
not the first language. Textbooks for the public system are
produced and distributed by state agencies. Private schools
may use commercially published textbooks as reference materials.
Some private publishers and social organizations, including
the Nepalese Society for Children's Literature, are publishing
children's books, but the country depends largely on book
Act, introduced in 1965, is ineffective and outdated, and
the National Book Development Board has never met.
is second only to the USA and UK in the production of English-language
books and has a vigorous publishing industry in 17 other languages.
The educational system that must be supplied with learning
materials is massive - 227 universities, 9,278 colleges, 98,134
high schools, 171,216 middle schools, and 590,421 primary
schools. Enrolment at the primary level alone is 100 million.
A process of devolution from the central government to the
states is almost complete. Under it, the state governments
will produce nearly all the textbooks, work books, and teachers'
guides for primary schools and the majority of textbooks for
secondary and senior secondary schools. The goal is to provide
the books at an affordable price, which the private sector
failed to do. Private schools draw on both locally produced
and imported books. Tertiary-level texts are for the most
part published locally, but postgraduate and research needs
are met mainly by importation.
of Maldives has a total population of well under 300,000 persons,
living on 199 coral islands with a land area of about 300
km2. The only bookstores are in the capital, Malé, and transportation
between the islands is poor. None the less, the overall literacy
rate is 98.8%, and 99.3% for females. Book production is expensive
as a result of the small market and dependence on imported
materials. Textbooks are produced and subsidized by the government.
There is a serious shortage of learning materials in the local
languages. There are few local writers, especially in the
national language Dhivehi, and to encourage them the government
holds writing competitions, including some for children's
literature. Most of the libraries are concentrated in Malé
but some atolls have school libraries and community reading
textbooks have long been produced by the four provincial textbook
boards, but the market has recently been opened to competition
from private sources. Other categories of learning materials
have been neglected. There is a shortage of school and public
libraries and an imbalance between educational and general
publishing: textbooks account for some 70% of the total book
production. Special efforts are being made, with the UNESCO
office in Pakistan, to educate the children of refugees from
Afghanistan, where the education system is in disarray.
Lanka, the government is responsible for supplying free textbooks
for grades 1 to 11, but does so in collaboration with the
private sector. Some 35 commercial publishing houses are active
as well as the state's Educational Publications Department.
The National Book Development Council is a permanent body
attached to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education,
and the industry enjoys an "approved undertaking" status that
secures for it special benefits. A World Bank/IDA book development
project, just under way, includes the rewriting of some 220
textbooks, the establishment of 2,000 new school libraries
and the improvement of 1,000 existing ones, and the training
of authors, illustrators, book designers, librarians, and
Asia and Caucasus
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
most of the former republics of the Soviet Union, the countries
of Central Asia and the Caucasus are in the midst of a major
transition from one social/political/economic system to another
on an unprecedented scale. Although the transformation seems
frustratingly slow, it is happening at breakneck speed compared
to most other historical change. Economic decline, inflation,
shortage or under-use of national resources, and lack of finances
are often accompanied by armed political disputes over territorial
possession within or amongst countries. Deteriorating social
conditions and poverty are widespread.
of education that prevailed under communism was hierarchical,
facts-based and discouraged innovative teaching, individual
questioning, and critical thinking. There is no longer consensus
on what aspects of education, and in particular textbooks,
are required. The countries are having difficulty breaking
away from the old system in which, typically, a pedagogical
institute within the Ministry of Education wrote the textbooks,
evaluated them, and approved them. Systems of open and fair
competition, encouraging good new authors, have been difficult
to introduce. Independent, objective evaluation has also proved
difficult to establish.
11. Public expenditure on education in Central Asia (not available)
of textbooks in countries that are no longer able to supply
them free of charge has presented a challenge for ministries
and funding agencies. Previously books were produced with
low grade paper and binding, which was considered adequate
because they were given new to pupils each year. Funding agencies
are urging the adoption of loan or rental schemes, which are
more economical but require better-quality books, and there
is not enough experience to know how well they will work in
of dismantling state-owned monopolies in textbook publishing
is incomplete. In most countries the state-owned company still
occupies a preferred position and benefits from the advantages
of hidden subsidies. In some countries the state company has
been privatized or has built up a parallel private company
into which it has tipped all its resources, thereby maintaining
an advantage over the smaller publishers.
than 10% of schools have computers. Supplementary materials
such as maps, atlases, and reference works are in short supply,
not only from lack of funds but because of needed change in
content. For example, there is still no widely accepted history
of Central Asia; the facts, not to mention interpretation,
are still the subject of heated debate. The introduction of
new materials is further hampered by the legacy of an ideology
that stressed the existence of one truth. More traditional
educators are still searching for the definitive textbook
that will replace the old one that is now in disrepute.
the situation varies from country to country, and more so
from rural to urban areas within each country, financing of
education in all the republics has been reduced - a result
of economic collapse together with the transition to a market-based
economy (Table 11). Salaries absorb most of what is available
at the expense of other recurring expenses. All schools are
under-funded with resulting deterioration of facilities, lack
of materials, and underpaid teachers. Rural schools are suffering
much more than urban schools.
of textbooks and other learning materials ranges from significant
to critical. Their provision has been affected by bureaucratic
inertia and inexperience in operating under the new economic
conditions, the abrupt interruption of economic and cultural
contacts with the former USSR, a continuing dependence upon
books published and printed in Russia, state monopolies in
educational publishing and printing, outdated and unreliable
printing equipment, and the need to import all the paper and
most of the materials required to manufacture books. Education
in Armenia and Azerbaijan suffered further from the war between
the two countries, and, in Armenia, from a devastating earthquake
in 1988. Both Armenia and Georgia are facing an energy crisis,
which paralyses Georgia for six months each year. Kazakhstan,
the second largest of the former soviet republics, must deal
with the problems of a vast country with an ethnically mixed
population, mostly rural. Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan
were left isolated and socially impoverished by the breakup
of the USSR, compounded in Tajikistan by civil war.
Uzbekistan, where the proportional decline in funding may
not seem substantial, the public system of education, enrolling
approximately 5 million students in more than 9,300 public
schools, is under stress. The situation is especially critical
in rural areas. Very little equipment can be found, except
in the specialized schools and selective lycées/gymnasia,
and almost no books, maps, atlases, or reference books. The
textbook situation is particularly critical in Turkmenistan,
which has stopped all co-operation with Russia in this area
and, consequently, all import and sale of Russian textbooks.
publishing and printing houses have reduced the amount and
the quality of their production. Armenia, which, with Georgia,
was in the first rank among former soviet republics in educational
achievement, has managed to renew more than half the textbooks
planned for primary and secondary schools, but further provision
has been blocked by lack of funds. Georgia has also revised
more than half its school books in the last five years, but
the new materials are rather scarce and some subjects are
still taught with soviet manuals. Kyrgyzstan has met the present
need for textbooks in almost half its schools, but lacks manuals
and other training materials. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are
unable to meet the textbook needs covered until recently from
Moscow and continue to use some of the old soviet textbooks.
In Mongolia, new textbooks are being produced only for grade
1. In Uzbekistan schools are still using textbooks published
in 1989-90. Schools there have libraries, sometimes with one
or two librarians; however, few students use them and the
majority of the collections are class sets of textbooks. A
recent decision to remove some of the soviet books from libraries
has exacerbated the situation. In Tajikistan, as a consequence
of civil war, schools have been destroyed, damaged, and closed;
new textbooks have been prepared but have not been published.
are required to buy secondary-level textbooks in Georgia,
but students prefer to use old books and, according to unofficial
data, about 30% of new school books remained unsold in 1997.
Armenia and Azerbaijan distribute some books for free, but
some estimates suggest that only one-third of the Azerbaijani
students in grades 1 to 4 who are entitled to receive free
books actually do so and such books, marked "free of charge"
on the back cover, are readily for sale on the street. Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan provide textbooks free
for the year, on the understanding that they will be returned.
In Tajikistan, secondary school textbooks, which were previously
given free to students, are sold in bookshops and markets
at high prices.
all countries in the region have attempted major curriculum
reforms over the past several years but there has been little
actual change. Educational systems, inherited from the soviet
period, remain highly centralized. Many textbooks published
during the soviet period are still used even when they are
at odds with new curricula.
the countries have replaced Russian as the language of instruction
with their new official languages (Azeri, Turkmen, Kazakh,
Uzbek, and Kyrgyz). Nevertheless, because many teachers are
more fluent in Russian, and because it has not yet been possible
to publish and distribute enough instructional materials in
many local languages, Russian remains a major vehicle of instruction.
Many of the new textbooks that have been published are simply
translated literally from the original Russian. The change
in language in many cases involves a change in alphabet, further
complicating production of new titles.
book publication in the region has decreased significantly
over the last few years. Separation from the former Soviet
Union has disrupted the supply of printing materials and equipment,
and increased costs. Only Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan produce
their own paper, and that in limited quantities. Elsewhere,
printers face high paper costs and irregular delivery. Customs
duties in general are high on imported raw materials and low
on imported printed materials, to the detriment of local production.
Those countries close to Russia still import many textbooks
from there, although that source has been reduced by a serious
drop within Russia of book production. Private publishers
are small and short of capital. In some countries they are
impeded by complex systems for ordering and distribution,
restrictions on the markup they are permitted, and slow payment
of government accounts. The physical quality of learning materials
is often low. Textbooks do not last long; illustrations are
often unclear and diagrams unreadable.
involved in planning and managing textbook provision are basically
the same today as they were before independence and the same
old way of management and work prevail. Training in writing,
translating, publishing, printing, and distribution is badly
agencies and donors are working to relieve the publishing
crisis, among them the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank,
UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the Soros Foundation, the Open
Society Institute, USAID, and the British Know How Fund. Programs
vary from pilot to extensive in nature, from textbook provision
to training, from national to subnational. In Armenia, for
example, the World Bank has a three-year $8 million program
that involves the publication of about 120 new textbooks,
in all subjects and levels, alongside a new textbook rental
scheme. In Azerbaijan, the Bank's program is addressed to
refugee resettlement and concentrates on damaged areas. In
Mongolia, the Asian Development Bank is funding curriculum
development at the secondary level; that country has also
received printing equipment from Denmark, Germany, Korea,
and Japan. In Kazakhstan, the Soros Foundation is running
various regional programs alongside World Bank activities,
including school grants and training of authors and publishers.
In Uzbekistan the Asian Development Bank is supporting a major
project for curriculum and textbook development at the primary
Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Papua
New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu,
the 13 countries of the Pacific Islands report that they do
not have enough textbooks, work books, and teachers' guides,
particularly in vernacular languages. Availability varies
from country to country and within countries. There are significant
differences in provision of books between urban and non-urban
areas, capital city islands and outer islands. Photocopying
of books is common where the machines are available, which
is not generally true. All countries practise central procurement
of textbooks and learning materials, but the cost of bidding
documents effectively precludes participation by local booksellers.
population, and economics all impede the provision of textbooks
and learning materials, and particularly materials developed
to meet local needs and produced locally. With the exception
of Papua New Guinea, the countries are small, even minuscule:
Nauru and Niue consist of one island each, comprising 21 km2
and 259 km2 respectively. Papua New Guinea has a population
of nearly 4.8 million, but the populations of Niue and Tokelau
are only 2,100 and 1,500. Those two small countries have negative
growth rates because of high migration. The countries are
geographically isolated and communication within them is onerous.
Kiribati consists of 33 islands totalling 719 km2 scattered
across three time zones and two days. In Papua New Guinea,
mountain ranges make air the only practical means of transport
to the interior. Throughout the region, air freight is expensive.
in the area are generally low, and even where they are higher,
as in Papua New Guinea, there are vast disparities. Low levels
of income result in small tax bases for schools and libraries
and limited financing for publishing ventures. External aid
often favours expatriate authors, editors, illustrators, typesetters,
printers, and publishers.
countries have been colonies, except Tonga which was a protectorate
of Great Britain. Samoa became independent in 1962 and was
followed by the other countries except Tokelau, which is a
territory of New Zealand. The Cook Islands and Niue remain
politically associated with New Zealand, and the Marshall
Islands remain so with the United States. The long period
of colonization followed by continuing relationships with
large metropolitan countries have resulted in the use of foreign
languages, foreign priorities in education, foreign agenda-setting
backed by foreign economic power, and a shortage of books
in local languages.
and Niue have enough English books but not enough books in
Tokelauan or Niuean. Fiji has enough teachers' guides for
English, but not always enough textbooks and work books, nor
does it have enough books in vernacular languages. Locally
produced books in Fiji Baat, a form of Hindi, are rare because
Hindi books can be imported inexpensively from India. In Vanuatu,
the official languages of instruction are English and French
(a legacy of two colonial rulers) but in practice Bislama
- a pidgin and the national language - is often used, although
there is little material available in it.
the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, and Tonga
have one vernacular language. The Cook Islands have two (Maori
and Pukapukan) as does Tuvalu (Tuvaluan and Kiribati). Fiji
has four: Fijian, Hindi, Rotuman, and Chinese. Solomon Islands,
Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea have 64, 108, and 869 respectively.
For some of these languages, the only reading material is
religious in nature. Under a new curriculum in Papua New Guinea,
the first three years of school must be taught in the vernacular
language of the particular area. Some of these languages do
not yet have an orthography. The publication of books in vernacular
languages by nationals of the countries concerned has been
encouraged by, among others, the Institute of Pacific Studies
at the University of the South Pacific.
books are given low priority and the shortage in schools is
serious. Those schools with libraries have some reference
books (although they are often out of date and sometimes wrong),
but not all schools have libraries. The majority of schools
in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, and Niue have libraries. Some
schools in the other countries have libraries. The vast majority
of schools in Papua New Guinea do not. The countries generally
have established networks of public libraries, but access
to them varies between and within countries: the three main
libraries of the Cook Islands, for example, are within 200
metres of one another.
reading materials are available in the market and in some
schools. Children's fiction, especially for very young children,
is improving in quantity and quality, but most is in English
or, in Vanuatu, French. Books in vernacular languages are
less common, though ministries of education, the Institute
of Education at the University of the South Pacific, and religious
groups such as the Summer Institute of Linguistics produce
books in local languages. Costs remain high, particularly
for low-income countries. Non-fiction for children is increasing
in quantity and quality very slowly.
audio and video tapes are scarce, and many schools in the
region lack power. Multimedia learning packages and science
kits are available in some schools but in general there is
a great shortage, with significant differences between schools
and between urban and rural areas. Fiji, however, has placed
science kits in 500 elementary schools and plans to do so
in its remaining 198 schools in the next two years. Posters,
wall charts, and maps are donated by international and regional
organizations and national governments but in insufficient
numbers and there are marked differences in availability between
urban and rural areas and between capital and outer islands.
of the book chain need attention. A considerable number of
training workshops have been held in writing and editing,
but little attention has been paid to distribution.
of the 13 countries undertook to promote book policies and
councils during the Biennial Meeting of the Directors of Education
and the UNESCO Office for the Pacific States held in November
1998. However, the only country with a book policy is Papua
New Guinea, which faces by far the greatest challenges in
book provision. Its National Policy on Information and Communication
strives to develop a national distribution system, a national
clearing house for domestically published books, publicity
for government books, support for all aspects of the book
chain, a subsidy on air freight to publishers and printers,
and strategies for cooperation. Its Book Week and Literacy
Week promote writing competitions, book sales, and public
of small populations and limited resources are being overcome
in some countries through regional cooperation in the production
of early literary resources. Fiji and New Zealand are involved
in much of what is happening, often in close cooperation.
New Zealand's involvement is the result, in no small measure,
of its own indigenous and immigrant Polynesian populations.
About one-third of children in New Zealand are Polynesian
- New Zealand Maori, Samoan, Cook Islands Maori, Tongan, Niuean,
or Tokelauan. More Tokelauans, Niueans, and Cook Islanders
live in New Zealand than in Tokelau, Niue, or the Cook Islands,
and for every two children at school in Samoa another Samoan
child lives in New Zealand. It is estimated that by about
2050 New Zealanders of Polynesian ancestry will form a majority
of the population.
guides and learning materials in the languages of these countries
are still in seriously short supply within New Zealand. In
1989, however, the country began a period of curriculum reform
that allows Pacific Islands children the right to use their
language as an integral part of their schooling and all children
the right to learn Pacific Islands languages if they wish.
Bilingual education became a school-by-school decision. The
Ministry of Education began publishing in Pacific Islands
languages for early childhood centres and schools in 1976,
and in large numbers from 1989 through contracts with a parastatal,
Learning Media. At present a new title is added, on average,
about every 11 days. The books in early reading, and in some
other subjects at the primary level, are not traditional textbooks
but what might elsewhere be called supplementary readers,
scarcely different from the children's books to be found in
stores. This approach lends itself particularly well to multilingual
Tokelau, Niue, and the Cook Islands all currently use Pacific
Islands language resources developed by the New Zealand Ministry
of Education, and Tonga is considering doing so. New Zealand,
in turn, uses resources in its schools originally developed
by the Departments of Education in Samoa, Tuvalu, and Tokelau,
and has purchased resource development services from the Departments
of Education in Niue, the Cook Islands, and Tonga. As a result,
five small island states have gained access to the full-colour
books normally associated with more developed countries and
New Zealand has gained a level of language expertise that
immigrant communities cannot always provide on their own.
There are only 6,000 Tokelauans in the world, yet the New
Zealand government publishes a new book for children, in full-colour,
in Tokelauan about every eight weeks.
Media was created in 1989 when the School Publications Branch
of the New Zealand Ministry of Education was transformed into
a government-owned but commercially oriented educational publishing
company which bids for work from its own and other ministries
of education. It also publishes works in its own right. Since
1989 it has won contracts to publish Pacific Islands language
resources for the ministries or institutes of education in
Tokelau, Tuvalu, Niue, Fiji, and Samoa, and has recently quoted
on work for the ministries of education in Vanuatu, the Marshall
Islands, Tonga, and Hawaii. With the Institute of Education
at the University of the South Pacific, a regional institution,
it has run workshops and publishes Pacific Literacy, a 30-book
series which forms the basis for the first three years in
primary school literacy programs in a growing number of church
and state school systems. With UNESCO support the partners
will publish Pacific Science, a 42-book early science series,
but low-cost literacy series is printed on rugged paper with
rust-resistant staples to survive tropical island conditions.
By printing the same book in several languages, with only
the black plates for text changed for each edition, print
runs can be high and costs per copy accordingly low. A full-colour
book in a local language costs no more than what some countries
in the region would pay per copy for black and white, poorly
illustrated books printed on non-durable grades of paper.
Each book is accompanied by teachers' materials that typically
include an English translation, notes on cultural elements
in the story, information about the author and illustrator,
an explanation of where the material fits in the curriculum,
and some suggested teaching activities. Competing books from
the USA, UK, and Australia have no Pacific content or authorship
and their guides do not reflect the realities of classroom
conditions in the Pacific.
Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea,
Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sénégal, São Tomé e Principe, South
Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
of Africa have appeared many times in this survey as examples,
and over the years that continent has attracted more donor
interest than any other and more documentation of its textbook
shortage and attempts to alleviate that shortage. Rather than
repeat themes from Parts II and III, here is a snapshot of
Africa as it seemed in 1999 to educators, publishers, and
consultants familiar with its educational system. The information
is based on 126 responses, from the 26 countries listed above,
to the ADEA/UNESCO survey. Not all the respondents answered
all the questions. The opinions do not always coincide with
trends identified in Part III.
per cent (103) of those responding to a question about book
shortage in their country considered it serious. The nine
who did not regard it as serious overall said it was serious
in rural areas or for pre-primary and tertiary-level books
that had to be imported. Thirty-six said the book shortage
was a result of poverty. The same number blamed inadequate
government funding and planning in the light of increased
school enrolments. Thirty said a weak local publishing industry
was responsible. Twenty blamed government policies - monopoly
publishing of textbooks, lack of co-ordination with funding
agencies, and taxes on printing materials. Others cited high
levels of illiteracy, lack of a book-buying culture, high
costs of production, inadequate book distribution systems,
and the scarcity of bookshops, especially in rural areas.
Some suggested that teaching styles perpetuated the book famine
by focusing on a single textbook and examinations.
12. Proportion of respondents who said there was a serious shortage
in textbooks and learning materials (N = 103) not available
than 90% of respondents identified serious shortages in textbooks
and learning materials of one kind or another (Table 12).
The overwhelming majority believed that decentralization was
a positive move, although a number seemed to be talking about
the theoretical benefits rather than from experience. The
advantages mentioned were largely related to school empowerment
in the selection of books and the encouragement of bookselling
if books were bought locally. Most respondents favoured a
centralized approval process, but thought there should be
a wide selection of approved titles from which schools could
select. Many were concerned about the means of distribution,
which some regarded as so inadequate as to outweigh the benefits
of local selection; 85 considered the distribution system
in their country as very weak or non-existent. Others were
worried that school officials would be unprepared to select
books and that corruption would simply move from the central
to the local level.
about three-quarters of the respondents answered a question
about training, but of those who did more than 95% felt that
all aspects of the book chain had been neglected and needed
attention. The training of teachers in the use of textbooks
was given a high priority. Most respondents agreed that the
printing industry in their countries was better developed
than book publishing, but that more training was needed.
all the respondents rejected free provision of textbooks.
The major reasons were: (1) there is no such thing as a "free"
book because someone has to pay; (2) the provision of free
books has no place in a free-market environment; (3) free
textbooks undermine the bookselling component of the book
chain; (4) free books are not properly valued or cared for.
Most people, however, recognized that poor families would
not be able to afford to pay the full cost of books. The following
remedies were suggested: subsidies to reduce the price; tax
benefits, removal of duties, and other national strategies
to reduce the cost of publishing; book loan or rental schemes;
targeted supply of free books to those most in need; community
participation in the establishment of community libraries;
community education in the value and care of books.
about the use of local languages drew 106 responses. Eight
people questioned the need for reading material in local languages,
which in some countries are regarded as inferior and of little
practical use for educational and economic advancement. There
was also concern that the favouring of one language over others
would be seen as a political statement. About 20% of respondents
said that there would be no demand for books in local languages
unless the languages were officially recognized in the education
system. Several recommended mother-tongue education in the
lower grades, however, and several more insisted that it should
be possible to take examinations in local languages in secondary
suggested that demand for reading materials in local languages
could be generated through literacy and reading campaigns,
local language supplements in newspapers, local language programs
on radio, story-writing competitions in local languages, and
promotion of local language materials in village and community
libraries. A large number of respondents said it would be
necessary to train authors and teachers in writing and teaching
the local language, and a few pointed out that for some languages
it was first necessary to standardize the orthography. Several
suggested that community members and members of literacy classes
be encouraged to write folk tales or stories. Many respondents
suggested translating existing books. Several suggested that
subsidies or other incentives should be offered to publishers
willing to take the risks of publishing small editions in
local languages, and others suggested electronic publishing
as an economic means of dealing with short runs.
thought that reading programs and campaigns - possibly involving
television and radio, book fairs, competitions, and prizes
- would do most to foster a more favourable reading culture
for children in particular and adults in general. Many stressed
the importance of making reading part of the school curriculum,
training teachers in the value of reading at school, and using
project-based learning as means of instilling the reading
habit in children. A large number called for the development
of school libraries and mobile libraries as a foundation upon
which reading and literacy campaigns might be built. Several
mentioned the need for more attractive, affordable books for
children, published locally and using local languages.
to other parts of the questionnaire are incorporated in other
parts of this survey.
Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Dominica,
Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Jamaica,
and Trinidad and Tobago.
the decade of the 1990s there was a significant improvement
in the provision of learning materials in most of the 12 anglophone
countries in the Caribbean region surveyed. As the decade
comes to a close, no country could be described as experiencing
a book famine. Nevertheless there remain significant barriers
to the adequate provision of learning materials.
report no serious shortage of textbooks or work books. A study
made in 1991 of the countries of the Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago
found "a proliferation of high quality texts written by Caribbean
educators and published by international and regional publishers".
The author found "little need to duplicate the many fine manuscripts
already published in every subject area and in use in the
region." (The study is summarized as Appendix E in Clare 1993.)
Indeed, in many countries of the region people feel that there
is too great a choice and that parents and students are being
asked to spend unnecessarily on a variety of textbooks. Ministries
of education throughout the region are introducing prescribed
lists of books at the primary and lower secondary levels.
is concern about unequal access within countries. Individual
governments have implemented a variety of schemes aimed at
improving access and reducing cost. The Jamaican Primary Textbook
Project, which has been operating since 1984, provides some
350,000 students per year with more than 2.5 million textbooks
and workbooks in science, mathematics, language arts, social
studies, and family life. The Jamaican Secondary School Textbook
Project (originally funded by the British government in 1985)
rents the core textbooks to students for US$25 per year. The
Barbados Rental Scheme, which is among the oldest in the region,
provides every secondary schoolchild with his or her full
textbook needs for an annual fee of US$37. St. Vincent will
introduce a rental scheme at the secondary level in the 1999/2000
academic year. Dominica and the Bahamas provide free textbooks.
The government of Trinidad and Tobago is targeting needy students
under a World Bank-funded project that will provide free textbooks
in mathematics, English, and science to 35% of the country's
school population starting in 2000.
remains a problem. Clare observed that the system of distribution
of textbooks common to all countries of the Caribbean was
one of the most expensive conceivable. Little has changed
since 1991 and even the government rental schemes retain elements
of that inefficient system. Under the Jamaica Secondary Textbooks
Rental Scheme, for example, each secondary school not only
selected the textbooks to be used in each subject but placed
the order directly with its supplier of choice. The Ministry
of Education, in theory, oversaw the process but largely confined
itself to ensuring that the school had funds to pay for the
order. Both ordering and shipping were inefficient and deliveries
were often late. In 1999, the Ministry limited choice by issuing
a list of approved texts, created a centralized pool of rental
funds under its control, and encouraged importers to consolidate
textbook provision. In 2000, the government may go one step
further and centralize purchasing and distribution.
exceptions textbook procurement has involved the private sector.
Jamaica has followed this principle since the 1970s. Barbados
has consistently bought schoolbooks through private sector
booksellers. Trinidad and Tobago, despite regular shifts in
policy, has generally supported both local printing and distribution.
In Guyana, however, the Ministry of Education remains the
largest publisher of educational materials through the National
Centre for Educational Resource Development.
offer some choice, but in June 1999 the government of Trinidad
and Tobago changed policy abruptly in the name of economy
and opted for a single textbook in each subject/level. It
had previously accepted a recommendation of its own textbook
evaluation committee that school principals be allowed to
choose from two approved titles in mathematics and science
and from six in language arts. The sudden change left local
publishers with tens of thousands of books produced for the
previous policy, and may reinforce the dominance of metropolitan
publishers in the country's textbook trade.
Ministry of Education, in contrast, is unique regionally in
its support of local publishers. The Ministry has responded
positively, by adoption and purchase, to the increasing number
of locally published books designed for its curricula. At
the primary level, for example, of the four subject areas
in which the Ministry provides books only the mathematics
texts are published outside Jamaica. All the language arts,
science, and social studies texts are locally published. The
approved textbook list for secondary schools also includes
a significant number of locally published texts in English
language, social studies, mathematics, and science.
of the region reported serious significant shortages in other
categories of learning materials. With limited resources,
governments have had to place a priority on satisfying the
needs of the core curriculum. Government budgets for libraries
are being reduced, or a greater proportion of them is being
absorbed by administrative expenses, at the same time as prices
of books rise. As a result, fewer books are bought. Money,
however, is not the only concern. Smaller countries, such
as the British Virgin Islands and Belize, which have no indigenous
publishing, have difficulty in gaining access to regionally
produced reading material.
have been made to provide more supplementary reading materials
in schools. In 1996 Trinidad and Tobago began establishing
classroom libraries in all its 486 primary schools under a
basic education project funded by the International Development
Bank (IDB). The books were intended to support a new curriculum
integrating reading and language. In Jamaica, 120 secondary
schools received library books between 1996 and 1998 under
a US$1.2 million project funded by IBD, while primary schools
will also receive books - some 250,000 of them - in the year
2000 under a British-funded project.
are not without problems. In Trinidad and Tobago, teachers
and librarians were given a chance to inspect and select books
for their schools through a series of regional exhibitions;
nevertheless, many lacked information about the range of available
materials. There was also a shortage of culturally relevant
material from other countries in the region and beyond. Jamaica
has had difficulty in getting basic information from publishers
and other sources about regionally produced materials that
might be relevant for its primary school library project.
As a result the first list compiled for tendering included
no locally produced books or books that were culturally relevant
to the country.
with one of the highest literacy rates in the region, has
opted for non-print technology. Its Edutec 2000 project, which
has been declared a national priority, is focused on providing
multimedia facilities in all the nation's schools. Barbados
has also created an educational software review centre and
is considering including software among the materials available
under its well-established textbooks rental program.
where the government is unable to provide for the country's
reading needs, a local NGO has undertaken the task. CODE,
has established 271 community libraries in the last five years
and distributed some 240,000 books to schools, libraries,
and other educational institutions.
As a result
of conferences in St. Lucia and Jamaica, a regional association
of publishers is forming, encompassing all the language areas
of the Caribbean - English, French, Spanish, and Dutch. Its
immediate concerns are expected to include problems of distribution,
training, and public/private sector cooperation.
the countries in the region has a national book policy. In
mid-1999 the National Book Development Council of Jamaica,
with funding from UNESCO, convened a regional consultation
on national book policies. Delegates representing all the
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member countries participated.
Their reports provided a mixed picture of the state of the
book in the countries of the region, ranging from virtual
inertia to vitality. Positive trends included the general
absence of taxes or duties on imported books, moves by several
countries to enact modern copyright legislation, and increasing
government intervention to provide textbooks to disadvantaged
sections of the population. The book chain is best developed
in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, but no country
can be said to have a publishing industry and even in Jamaica
there now is only one textbook publisher of substance. The
book industry in the rest of the Caribbean region remains
in a state of chronic underdevelopment which is unlikely to
be changed by occasional book provision schemes. The region
remains the one geographical area in the English-speaking
world where there is little or no initiative in book development.
and Eastern Europe
Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania,
Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)
change in Central and Eastern Europe has brought widespread
initiatives for economic and social reform. For almost a decade,
the post-communist countries of this region have been attempting
to lay the foundations of their future democracies and to
introduce market economies - a painful transition accompanied
at times by economic stagnation, high inflation, unemployment,
social disillusion and, in southeastern Europe, armed disputes.
dissemination, and use of instructional materials, like the
educational systems, have been affected by the transition.
Fragile economies, insufficient budget allocations, and lack
of legislative measures contributed to the deterioration of
the publishing industry during the first half of the nineties.
In every country there is more than one educational publisher,
although often one (usually the state or former state company)
is distinguished by the Ministry of Education as the leading
company. In such cases, it is difficult for newly formed companies
to obtain a share in the market because of tradition. In some
countries the Ministry of Education helps the former monopolist
through subsidies or large purchases. In Hungary and some
other countries, the private publishers found it in their
interest to maintain the public status of the state textbook
company out of fear that, privatized and free from public
obligations, it would be even more dangerous a competitor.
educational reforms still have to be implemented. In every
country new curricula are either under development or under
implementation. The major presumption, inherited from the
socialist system of education, is that the textbook is the
most important item in the educational system and, when you
have a textbook, all other materials are significantly less
necessary. Work books and teachers' guides are also recognized,
but interactive materials are rare.
shortages vary, as do the availability and range of learning
materials. Although market-oriented changes have been introduced
in some countries, examples remain of state control of prices,
textbook subsidies, and deep-rooted expectations that the
government will provide free or cheap textbooks. Curriculum
development and textbook provision have been assisted by international
CSOs and by agencies such as the World Bank and European Union.
countries In the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia,
the transition towards a democratic order and market economy
is progressing and, although the financial situation is still
difficult, textbooks suffer more in quality than in quantity.
The total number of textbook titles published in the Czech
Republic, Hungary, and Poland rose slightly between 1994 and
1997. In the largest market, Poland, the publication of instructional
materials has been turned into a profitable, competitive activity.
Comprehensive educational reforms aim to replace the old fact-based,
textbook-oriented learning with alternative methods and curricula.
New textbooks are being developed primarily with the help
of international funding agencies and experts.
countries Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania undertook economic,
political, and social reforms after their separation from
the former USSR and all have achieved political stability
and progress in commercial infrastructure. Their economies
are improving but are still fragile, and the shortage of disposable
income affects the production and dissemination of educational
materials. School book publishing is impeded by the small
size of the national markets, which are further reduced by
the presence of minority language groups. Latvia is beginning
to pay attention to ethnic minority education and, above all,
the integration of Russian language schools. Lithuania is
supporting the decentralization of education. There are some
textbook and work book shortages in Estonia, and all countries
feel serious shortages of teachers' guides and supplementary
materials, including reference books. In all three countries,
the annual number of textbook titles published had increased
substantially by 1997 over output even two years earlier.
Asia and Caucasus) countries As in other states of the former
USSR, the collapse of the old regime in Ukraine, Belarus,
Moldova, and Russia was followed by the collapse of political,
economic, and cultural structures and by disruption of commerce
and distribution against a background of hyperinflation. The
large size of Ukraine and the division between its Ukrainian
and Russian-speaking areas exacerbated the difficulties of
transition. The government controls the selection and issue
of every textbook but lacks the funds to meet all requirements.
Old textbooks need to be replaced and, in general, instructional
materials are in serious demand.
reform and privatization in Belarus are proceeding more slowly
than in Russia or the Baltic states. The country is closely
tied to the Russian market and heavily dependent on it. The
publishing sector remains state-owned. The Ministry of Education
has the ultimate control over textbook provision and state-owned
publishers retain their monopoly. Russian textbooks from before
1990 are still in use.
national educational standards and curricula are being revised.
There is a critical shortage of textbooks and teachers' guides,
and supplementary materials are non-existent. An experimental
textbook rental scheme was severely undermined by the Russian
economic crash of August 1998.
Russian Federation, estimates of the shortage of textbooks
in primary and secondary schools range from 100 to 300 million
books, depending on whether one counts physical numbers of
books in the schools or considers quality and appropriateness.
History books from the 1980s are still in use and falling
apart. In the early 1990s educational funding was devolved
to the 89 oblasts (provinces) and the Ministry of Education
was expected to recommend two or three suitable textbooks
for each subject/level. Competition might have been expected
to blossom, but the market remains dominated by the massive
state publishing house Prosvescheniye, which benefits from
hidden subsidies despite efforts to commercialize it. Another
large textbook publishing company is said to have links with
the mafia. Despite all obstacles, the quality of books in
general is being improved through competition and consumer
demand. In 1998 competitions for textbooks were launched and
40 new titles approved, with the result that by 1999 the federally
approved list had two and often three titles for each subject/level.
Teachers' guides and supplementary materials remained in short
Textbook shortages in the countries of Albania, Bulgaria,
and Romania are a direct result of slow political, economic,
and social reforms. Only recently, with the arrival of democratic
governments (as late as 1997 in Bulgaria and Romania), have
changes begun. The governments are committed to privatization,
but progress is impeded by low wages, inflation, and declining
purchasing power. Financial support for textbooks from international
agencies, such as the World Bank and the Soros Foundation,
has been decisive during the last several years. Even so,
budgets are not always sufficient to meet needs for textbooks
and work books, most of which are being replaced by new editions.
Supplementary materials are still in scarce supply.
has developed new textbooks for most grades and to finance
them has begun selling them to families. In Romania, competition
in textbooks has been introduced with World Bank funding.
In Albania, much of the countryside is remote and difficult
to reach and 87% of the schools are in villages. Textbook
production and provision is controlled by the Ministry of
Education using monopoly state-owned publishing and distribution
enterprises. There is a shortage of textbooks, and teachers
of all grades require guides to the revised curriculum.
of the former Yugoslavia Wars have destroyed schools as well
as the national economies and infrastructures and have fragmented
what was once one national market. In Bosnia and Herzegovina
international funding for education has initially been directed
towards repairing damaged schools.
small book market is divided in three by language and differing
publishing policies. As a result production costs are high
and print runs low. There is no system at cantonal level for
inventory control and distribution of textbooks to schools.
educational system has remained completely centralized and
underfunded. Curricular reform has been hampered by disputes
between Croatians and the Serb minority.
has undertaken educational reform and tested new methods,
but lacks finances to support the desired change. Development
of new learning materials is impeded by an underdeveloped
publishing industry and gradually increasing costs. Moreover,
the constitution guarantees the Albanian, Turkish, and Serb
minorities instruction in their mother tongues at the elementary
and secondary levels. Textbooks of equal quality are required
in all subjects at the same price in the three minority languages
as well as Macedonian. Many print runs are small as a result,
but costs are amortized across the four editions to achieve
a common sales price. Supplementary materials are basically
aftermath of Kosovo, the educational infrastructure of Yugoslavia
(Serbia and Montenegro) must be reconstructed. The school
systems are strictly controlled by a totalitarian state, using
old teaching methods. Textbooks are sold. No curricular reform
was in place before the war and there is little evidence that
publishing of any kind will receive immediate attention.
selection, ownership, distribution, and funding Most countries
permit choice and competition in the production of educational
materials, Belarus and Ukraine being notable exceptions. Ministries
of education in all countries decide what textbooks are approved
for use in schools. Alternative textbooks may be used without
Ministry approval, as in Lithuania, or only with approval
of the Ministry, as in Bulgaria. In Macedonia, the Ministry
intends to allow schools an element of choice in the textbooks
they use for most if not all subjects. In Russia, teachers
are free in principle to choose among Ministry-approved and
any other published textbooks, but information about what
is available is scarce, sample copies are hard to come by,
and teachers continue to rely on the old books and methods
with which they are familiar. In Russia, Hungary, and Estonia,
textbooks that are not recommended by the Ministry tend to
be more expensive for parents to buy. The highly centralized
Yugoslav system of education did not allow choice of textbooks
before the war with Kosovo. In Albania, there is practically
in the publishing industry has been initiated in many countries.
Most of the former state publishing houses in Estonia are
privatized, including the former textbook publishing monopoly
Koolibri. In Latvia, privatization is also complete and Zvaigne,
the former state textbook monopoly, is having to compete with
a small number of private houses. Most of the publishing industry
of Romania has been privatized but the textbook market is
still dominated by a single state-owned educational publishing
house. The biggest publishing houses in Bosnia and Herzegovina
are still state-owned, however. In Macedonia, the state publisher
Prosvetno Delo still has the textbook monopoly but discussions
concerning its privatization have been completed. In Ukraine,
private publishers are beginning to get a share of the educational
market but are constrained by high prices for paper and printing
because of dependence on Russian suppliers. The Albanian government
has approved the privatization of state enterprises.
of textbook distribution differ, but all have problems, pre-eminently
delays in payment to publishers. In several countries, state
systems have been replaced by the private sector. In Estonia
and Poland, publishing companies work with private wholesalers.
In Poland, textbooks are chosen by teachers and bought by
parents, usually in bookshops. In Estonia, the former state
distribution and retail book selling monopoly has been replaced
by private ...
13. Textbook publisher ownership, distribution, and funding
in Central and Eastern Europe (not available)
and booksellers. In Romania, publishers are responsible for
distributing the books to the schools and are paid only on
delivery. The state distribution organization still exists
in Latvia but no longer has a monopoly and many of its bookstores
have been privatized or closed.
the state continues to be involved in distributing books to
the schools. In Lithuania, the state distribution organization
has been privatized but textbook distribution has been taken
over by the Ministry of Culture and Education and remains
state-controlled. In Belarus and Russia, textbooks are distributed
to schools by governmental firms. In Albania, textbooks are
delivered in bulk by the state printing house to local state
warehouses in the 37 administrative districts and from there
are redistributed by school-appointed representatives, usually
teachers. In Macedonia, the state publisher has recently been
supplying textbooks directly to the schools instead of through
retail bookshops. In Croatia distribution channels have been
badly neglected and in Ukraine the distribution system has
have successfully introduced market rules and free competition
in the creation of educational materials (Table 13). Elsewhere,
the debate over the state's role is heated. Many governments
struggle to balance stretched budgets and a continuing commitment
to provide textbooks free of charge. In some countries, parents
buy books on a black market simply because the state has failed
to deliver what is needed. In Slovenia, parents pay for all
books; in Romania and Belarus, educational authorities pay
for textbooks and parents pay for supplementary materials
that have not been approved by the Ministry of Education.
In Bulgaria, the state provides free schoolbooks in the first
years of education but parents complain about the high prices
of textbooks for subsequent grades. In Albania, pupils pay
a nominal charge for the use of schoolbooks, which are returned
for re-use. Some countries subsidize textbook prices generally,
and most subsidize textbooks for handicapped children, minority
groups, and vocational schools.
environment Every country has a publishers' association, most
of them founded since 1989. Those in Estonia and Latvia have
been particularly active. In many countries, the printing
industry lacks modern equipment that can provide short print
runs economically. With the exception of Russia most countries
need to import paper. Printing prices in Moldova, which had
been a major printing centre in the Soviet Union, are low
in comparison with those in neighboring countries and there
is substantial demand for its services from Romania, Bulgaria,
and Russia. Many countries must find financing for short-run
textbooks to meet minority needs.
is an urgent need for training in writing, publishing, and
distribution of textbooks and for training of teachers in
their use. The Open Society Institute and the local Soros
Foundations for Open Society have been running numerous regional
and general programs addressing educational reforms, textbook
publication, and translation of materials. The British Know
How Fund has also organized training workshops in Albania
and Romania. In the early 1990s the Soros Foundation supported
some 400 writing projects in Russia, most of them supplementary
materials that have found their way to the country's more
Bank is supporting the publication and distribution of selected
primary and secondary school core textbooks in Bosnia and
Herzegovina. In Romania, it supported an education reform
project that introduced new textbooks and competition. It
is negotiating with Albania an education reform loan that
would include competitive textbooks. It has also provided
support for textbooks in Russia, Macedonia, and Moldova. A
Bank project in Russia involved direct loans to oblasts to
provide working capital for publishers to produce federally
approved textbooks, but it faltered, just as agreement was
to be signed, after the ruble was devalued in August 1998.