UNESCO presents new finance model that could triple the availability of textbooks

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A new study by UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM)* to be issued on 19 January proposes an economic model that would help reduce the cost of textbooks and increase their availability to students in schools around the world.

According to the paper, Every Child Should Have a Textbook, centralized financing mechanisms could allow for a US$3 reduction in the price of each textbook and save almost US$1 billion a year from the cost of learning materials in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Kenya, for example, could save $US64 million from its textbook bill, Malawi US$33 million.

The report argues that improved financial models could help triple the number of textbooks available for children worldwide, thereby improving educational achievements, particularly in poor countries hampered by the high cost of textbooks today. According to the study, providing textbooks to all students could increase literacy scores by 5-20%.

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