Don’t force students to buy workbooks: STU president

Workbooks put unnecessary burden on low-income parents, says Ghani

SIBU: Teachers should not insist on students buying workbooks as this would put unnecessary financial pressure on low-income earners.

“For low-income parents who have a number of school-going children, imagine the amount of money each child needs for workbooks,” said Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina, yesterday.

In a telephone interview here, he said that the use of workbooks was not compulsory in school.

Hence, he urged all teachers to advise their students to buy only the very necessary items.

He suggested that teachers should emphasise more practical exercises in class rather than depending on workbooks.

“They can, for instance, create their own exercises based on the textbooks which also have exercises on grammar, comprehension and so forth to further boost understanding,” he said.

Workbooks, he said, are meant for extra exercises on things like grammar, comprehension and so on.

These are necessary but not compulsory, he said.

Still, he appealed to the relevant authority to equip each school (both primary and secondary) with a photocopy machine.

“This would lighten the burden of parents who can’t afford workbooks or other necessities,” he said. He urged parents to be more flexible when asked to make contributions for printing educational materials such as exam papers, workbooks and so on.

“After all, the amount is much cheaper compared to buying workbooks,” said Ghani, who has been in the teaching profession since 1975.

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