Education is a right, and it’s supposed to be free. But Ireland is one of only a few European countries to make even the poorest pay for books. It’s a shocking burden on hard-pressed families.
By the time they leave school, a family with four children could have spent as much as €3,200 on secondary school books alone, that most of the time, can’t even be reused.
The constant flow of unnecessary new editions means that families are forced to keep forking out for new texts, while tonnes of books end up dumped. It’s crazy – and unnecessary.
A book rental scheme – fair for all
In most European countries schools run school book rental schemes, where schools buy the books and rent or loan them out to students in return for a small fee or deposit. This means that teachers can set a book and be sure that there are enough copies for all their students.
A book rental scheme would help every family in Ireland, and reduces the unnecessary spend on new school book editions each year.
Pushing for government action
At the Society of St Vincent de Paul we regularly see families come to us, struggling to deal with the costs of preparing the kids for a new school term. We want to see a change in policy which would lift some of this burden off families altogether. We’re meeting with the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn in a few weeks time to argue our case. Sign our petition to help us show how much this matters to people in Ireland.
At the moment the Department of Education and Skills gives money to schools to spend on books, but they don’t have to set up a book rental scheme. If funding for books only went to schools who had book rental schemes, more schools would set them up. Frequent new revisions would become a thing of the past as the books could be reused.
Join us – sign our petition above right to call on the Minister for Education and Skills to set up an effective book rental scheme.
Please follow link to sign petition http://www.svp.ie/books