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Textbooks on their way to lower secondary schools

The Ministry of Education and Sports expects to have distributed free textbooks to all lower secondary school students across the country by the end of this month.

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Staff at the printing enterprise work hard to get the textbooks ready.

Subjects covered in the textbooks include maths, literature, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, history, basic vocational education, information and communications technology, physical education, English, art and more.

Director General of the ministry's Secondary Education Department, Mr Ly Foung, said more than 1 million books had been printed in Thailand and sent to Laos, and were now being delivered across the country.

Despite the large number of books printed, rising student numbers means it is unlikely the ministry will have enough for every lower scondary school student.

The lower secondary school covers from first to fourth year.

The state-owned Education Printing Enterprise in Vientiane was authorised by the ministry to print another 100,000 lower scondary school books for sale to make up the shortfall.

An employee told Vientiane Times some books had already been printed and were expected to hit the shelves by the end of the month. Textbook distribution normally comes long after the start of the academic year because of the time taken for printing and transportation.

The owner of a private school in Vientiane said his classes had resumed on September 2 but lower secondary students were still without their books.

He said students were encouraged to study course material with their teachers and take notes instead.

Ms Keo, from Xaysettha district's Naxai village, said she had tried to buy textbooks for her son, but she had not been able to find any in markets or printing houses.

She said one seller told her the books were still being printed but would be on sale by the end of the month.

Some students have expressed concern about having no choice but to wait for their textbooks to arrive. The first nationwide distribution of textbooks by the ministry took place in 1997, with millions of books provided free of charge to primary and secondary schools.

Student numbers have risen rapidly since then and many more books are needed.

Source: Vientiane Times


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