Textbook purchase fees increase high than inflation rate according to Consumer Council

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15th September 2021 – (Hong Kong) The Consumer Council’s 2021/22 Primary and Secondary Schools’ Textbook Purchase Fee Survey was conducted using a random sampling method to obtain book lists from 57 primary and 50 secondary schools. It found that the overall average textbook purchase fees for primary and secondary school students increased by 5.3% and 3.6% respectively over the previous school year. The increase was significantly higher than the 0.4% inflation rate over the same period. Reasons for the increase in textbook purchase fees include the combination of subjects selected by students, the number of selected textbooks and exercises, the reduction in discounts on textbook purchases, and the difference in textbooks used in the new school year.

In terms of the use of academic materials in primary schools alone, there are an average of 9 to 10 books. The supplementary exercises for each subject involve an average of 5 to 6 books. The Consumer Council calculated that the average textbook purchase fees for the new school year was HK$3,083 for primary schools, a significant year-on-year increase of 5.3%, while the average textbook purchase fees for all levels ranged from HK$2,879 to HK$3,223. Both also recorded a year-on-year increase from 4.9% to 5.5%.

If divided into categories of higher primary and lower primary, the average textbook purchase fee for the former is HK$3,181, which is higher than the latter’s HK$2,984. As for secondary schools, the average textbook purchase fee was HK$2,887, which was slightly lower than that of primary schools, but it also increased by 3.6% year-on-year.

39 primary schools received a higher 8% to 89% discount, which was 6% less than last year’s survey. 70% of secondary schools received a 89% to 10% discount from booksellers, which was 4% less than last year’s survey. The Consumer Council recommends that schools adopt textbook recycling to promote environmental protection, such as used book donations or consignment activities. At the same time, more than 40% of primary and secondary schools replied that they would consider using printed textbook with online teaching resources and compiling more online teaching materials by themselves in the future, and nearly 20% said they would use more e-books.

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