Most of the school textbook revisions approved by the Education Bureau were found to be unnecessary, more expensive and worse in terms of content than the original versions, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday, citing a survey conducted by the Consumer Council.
Of the 13 textbooks with a revised edition assessed in the Consumer Council’s annual survey, only one was found to be in genuine need of a revision, the report said.
The Council said the situation this year was worse than five years ago.
A chemistry textbook published by the Jing Kung Educational Press has 16 percent fewer pages than the previous edition, yet the selling price is 5 percent more expensive.
Several illustrations and diagrams were also removed from the revised edition, making the old textbook better in terms of content quality.
A spokesperson for Jing Kung Educational Press spokesperson took exception to the Consumer Council’s assessment, saying that the textbook in question was approved by the Education Bureau.
For its part, the Education Bureau said it had sought the help of experts from within and outside the education sector to come up with a comprehensive assessment of the revised textbooks.
The Consumer Council also reviewed the revised editions of nine liberal studies textbooks, and found no valid reason for revising any of them.
Even though more timely topics could be included, the previous editions were good enough and required no revisions, the council said.
The review of the revised textbooks was conducted by specialists from relevant faculties of the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
The 13 textbooks under review were all revised in 2014, and were adopted by at least three schools. They cover liberal studies, Chinese history, chemistry, accounting and finance, among other subjects.
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