| 9.2°C Dublin

Goodbye and good riddance to schoolbooks

I was heartened to read in the Herald about the Dublin school that is consigning schoolbooks to history.

For a down payment of €150, children will now get iPads to replace all the texts that have weighed down their bags -- not to mention their parents' finances.

This news must send a chill through schoolbook publishers. Once again we read and hear of the enormous hardship parents face in coming up with every-increasing cost of schoolbooks. To me it's nothing short of scandalous that, on a yearly basis, text books are being revised and hundreds of thousands being discarded.

In my time, schoolbooks were passed on from brother to brother and sister to sister. Indeed, many of the text books I used in secondary school were passed down through my eight brothers.

One of the great mysteries for me is why old-fashioned copy books aren't used alongside text books. For the life of me, I can't understand why these workbooks are put at the end of the texts, rendering the books unusable at the end of the year.


I'm glad to see a Minister for Education has finally decided to tackle this head on with publishers, who are making a small fortune through schoolbooks.

Minister Ruairi Quinn has appealed to them not to make revisions on an annual basis.

However, it would appear that his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. They said in a statement they would not be making "rash decisions on reducing prices rises".

Perhaps he should adopt a far tougher line and put the fear of God into them. If the minister made it his policy for the next five years to subsidise the installation of new technology in schools, perhaps then he'll get a response from publishers.