Careers & Education

Theft impeding student access to texts in school libraries

BY DENISE DENNIS Career & Education staff reporter dennisd@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 28, 2012    

Print this page Email A Friend!


SCHOOL libraries are not equipped to serve as a back-up for children without textbooks, despite the many who are compelled to do without given the financial woes faced by their parents annually.

The reason for this is theft, according to acting Director General of the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) Karen Barton.

"As a normal thing, we do not provide textbooks because usually it is something that is easily stolen," she told Career & Education, adding that the expense involved in supplying all schools with texts was also a consideration.

The JLS instead provides supplementary material that cover at least a portion of the subject matter being studied by students.

"In many school libraries we really would not be able to provide enough [prescribed texts] for all the students, so we concentrate on supplementary material," she said.

Barton hastened to add that textbooks can, however, be accessed at public libraries.

President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools Sharon Reid has supported the JLS in this. According to Reid, putting textbooks in school libraries would be "tantamount to a waste of funds".

"There is no way that schools could stack textbooks that children are supposed to buy so that they could go to the library and read. The children would steal the books or they would cut out the relevant pages. No, they [the JLS] can't do that," she said.

Reid added that at St Andrew High School, where she is the principal, the Parent-Teacher's Association (PTA) try as much as possible to assist students who cannot afford the texts. To that end, she said that they have started a programme where students are able to purchase second-hand books at a cheaper price.

National Parent Teacher's Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) President Everton Hannam is of another view. He believes that efforts should be made to have prescribed textbooks placed in the school libraries so that they can be accessed by students in need on a timely basis.

National Parent Teacher's Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) President Everton Hannam is of another view. He believes that efforts should be made to have prescribed textbooks placed in the school libraries so that they can be accessed by students in need on a timely basis.

He added that the NTPAJ would be willing to contribute books to these libraries.

"If the PTAs are aware that there is a deficiency in a particular area, I am sure that they will step up to the plate and support, because it is all about how we assist the whole education transformation process and if it's to contribute textbooks to libraries, the national PTA stands ready to assist," Hannam said.

"Most of the schools have libraries, some are active and some are inactive and the services are not necessarily up to the standard that we would like them to be," Barton said.

She noted that a part of the challenge at primary schools is that students do not have as much access since teachers who are usually assigned to monitor the libraries are unable to carry out this duty effectively because they are busy monitoring classes.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Will you close your bank account because of Government's tax on withdrawals?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT