22 February 2019
Parents are splashing out thousands on children's books, ranging from math to entire learning systems. Photo: Xinhua, CNSA
Parents are splashing out thousands on children's books, ranging from math to entire learning systems. Photo: Xinhua, CNSA

When parents make a splash, book sellers ring up cash

It’s never too early to educate a child — or overwhelm him or her with English books for that matter.

And if the Hong Kong Book Fair is any indication, parents are only too eager to give them a head start. 

They’re splashing out on books and other teaching tools ranging from HK$1,000 for math to HK$60,000 (US$7,736) for an English learning system, Apple Daily reports.

The spending spree is driving business in the annual fair which opened at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on Wednesday.

Attendance is brisk, according to organizers, with adults paying HK$25 and children HK$10.

Publishers are ringing up sales from children’s books, school textbooks and dictionaries.

A couple, surnamed Wong, said they paid HK$60,000 for an Oxford Path learning system, a set of dozens of English books, for their five-month old child.

They said they hope the books will spark her interest in learning.

A mother, surnamed Chu, said she saved HK$1,000 to buy books for her four-year-old son who is already doing primary two math.

Most of the exhibitors are selling English materials but publisher GAPSHK is confident its new Putonghua exam tool will be a best seller.

It said kindergarten students who can master the language can “build a strong foundation” if they start now.

Many publishers have expanded their offerings to younger children.

A GO class for four-year-olds and above is available. Life-saving courses are being taught to eight-year-olds for HK$5,000 over five days.

The manager of the course provider said the life-saving program was inspired by the 2012 Lamma ferry disaster which killed 39 people. 

Kidz Education offers a series of English learning practice and exercises for young children developed by a Singaporean group.

And electronic dictionary maker Instant-Dict has a new English learning program on pronunciation.

Book publisher DR. MAX sold eight volumes of a learning set worth HK$20,000 each on the first day of the fair which has attracted 640 exhibitors.

Asked if the materials would be too much for young children to handle, a publishing representative merely said it’s “good to learn English”.

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