For the new academic year, a rise of 10 per cent is expected in the prices of books in Tunisia.
La Presse, the daily Tunisian newspaper, reports that the increase in the prices of books is due to the improvement of quality of paper and layout. A team of pedagogues appointed by the Tunisian Ministry of Education revised the books and classes for the new academic year and have made some changes to make the books look “more attractive” for students.
Belgacem Lassouad, the director of the national teaching center, said that in order to improve the quality of the books, more colorful diagrams and graphs were added in particular to the science books.
Well I’m all for the Ministry of Education revising the books from time to time, updating them, making them richer pedagogically and making them more useful for the student.
I also do realize that using better quality paper, more attractive designs and having more graphics in the books does make their printing cost more.
But, I think a main concern should also be to keep the price accessible to everyone.
I know that the price of an individual book is only a few dinars and that adding 10% to the price of one book isn’t much of a difference. But multiplied by the number of books that students carry around on their backs to school, it becomes a significant increase, especially for the poorer families.
I guess what I’m saying is that of course changes need to be made from time to time, books have to be updated and their quality upgraded, and eventually this will mean a rise in their prices. But maybe this should be done gradually starting with the most important points first which are content and the way it’s presented.