$2b budget for textbooks
The Ministry of Education will be spending $2 billion on textbooks this academic year.
Portfolio minister Fayval Williams told Parliament that the budget will be split evenly between primary and high schools.
“I am particularly pleased with the greater investment in textbooks at the high-school level. Prior, we were only able to invest $200 million at the high-school level,” Williams said.
The minister said textbooks will be available in the usual hard copy and e-book formats.
She said the ministry has worked with principals to determine the mix of textbooks and e-books.
Williams added that distribution has begun and will continue to the end of September.
Meanwhile, for the e-books, students will only need to download the text once and it will be available on their device for the school year.
Phillips spared sanction after spat
Manchester North West Member of Parliament Mikael Phillips narrowly missed being removed from the sitting of the House of Representatives over his conduct.
Phillips was offered a reprieve after he relented and apologised for his “unparliamentary behaviour” for disobeying an order from House Speaker Marisa Dalrymple Philibert when he did not receive answers to questions put to Education Minister Fayval Williams.
He wanted to ascertain from Williams what was being done to assist students in his constituency who are being affected by the collapsed Troy bridge in Manchester.
He also wanted to know if the ministry would compensate teachers who now have to travel 17 miles get to work since the August 2021 bridge collapse.
Noting that the design for a new bridge was completed and that costing and scope of work were being undertaken, Dalrymple Philibert asked Phillips to observe the Standing Orders.
But Phillips said he was not comforted by that information.
Members then objected to his utterance but Phillips declared that he would not sit when Leader of Government Business Edmund Bartlett stood on a point of order and asked that he be put in line.
Bartlett then asked the House speaker to name the member and advised the marshal accordingly.
“To do what?! Marshal vote for me to come in here? You must be mad!” said a defiant Phillips.
“I don’t want anybody to gag me inside here either,” he added.