School Books - Teachers ripping parents off

humperdink

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Jul 29, 2008
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My sister came to me a few days ago asking for a loan of €500 to buy school books for her four kids. She's not broke; she just didn't have it when she needed it (i'll get it back like, :roll: ). She has to fork out about a grand every year on everything required for going back to school, books being the highest cost.
The thing is, her four kids all attend the same (public) secondary school and despite the fact that they all wear the same uniform and follow the same curriculum, they never seem to be able to use their elder siblings secondhand school books. Why? Because apparently it is the teacher's choice as to which set of books will be used for each subject each year. Teachers are not obliged to choose the same books as previous years or as other teachers of same subjects are choosing just because it might save parents an absolute fortune on the already limited back to school budget, oh no. Instead teachers are given free reign to decide on whatever books they want to use (provided they follow the curriculum) without any regard to the parents pocket, and I personally think that that's either a farce, or some kind of racket.

I can't think of any reason why this should be allowed, by schools or our government, can you?

If I can be enlightened, then please go ahead.
 


DAOINE

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Jul 26, 2007
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In China the kids just make a photocopy of the book and it works fine. I suggest your sister does the same just dont tell Folens.
 

humperdink

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That's not a bad point - why can't schools photocopy pages required from books and hand them out to each student? I'm sure the parents would be happy to contribute a nominal fee for photocopying (+17.5% ESB charges)
And a lever arch folder file is only about €3.
 

Clanrickard

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humperdink said:
That's not a bad point - why can't schools photocopy pages required from books and hand them out to each student? I'm sure the parents would be happy to contribute a nominal fee for photocopying (+17.5% ESB charges)
And a lever arch folder file is only about €3.
Ahem.. there is a thing called intellectual copyright. What they could od is the school/VEC could buy the books and the parents could pay so much off each month by repayment. Also schools could talk to each other and swap books that are not needed.
 

daisylady

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I know its insane! I one month I started uni, my sis started secondary school, and my bro started primary school. I can tell you with books, uniforms, rent etc it was one expensive month, one which we got no help with.

Many local bookshops however do offer good quaility second hand books for cheap. If they are old editions you can photocopy the new bits. We are also book share within family and friends so books are passed around when people are finished the year.
 

polito123

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Our school had a system where we loaned the books off the school each year, but had to give them back at the end of the year. It worked well!! I've seen some teachers photocopy books, which is a good idea, as long as you don't get caught!

The problem with the books is that they are changed every turn about.. But if the school have a loan system it wouldn't matter!
 

humperdink

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aef1 said:
Many local bookshops however do offer good quaility second hand books for cheap. If they are old editions you can photocopy the new bits. We are also book share within family and friends so books are passed around when people are finished the year.
Why should people have to go through all that hassle, why?

Why can't teachers be forced to follow a set rule? I don't understand, it's just not logical, and a complete nightmare for parents already stretched to the limit.
 

humperdink

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Is Folens a semi-state body?
 

polito123

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I don't think you can blame the teacher to be honest...

For the Junior Cert and the Leaving cert English there are certain books that you can do, these books alternate, so you can never do the same book two years in a row. And for the teacher's sanity, it's best that they are not doing the same books every year.

It is a problem for parents, but there are benefits, which can be claimed by those struggling to pay for uniforms etc..
 

humperdink

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Why should having to pay about a grand a year on back to school supplies only be an issue for the hard up?

I do blame teachers, it is afterall, their fault...
 

flyer

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I think some of the plays, poets, novels etc change each year and this is dictated by the department. The rest are probably fairly fixed from one year to the next but there seem to be some change. I saw a list of the films on the English course once and there were several new films on the course (e.g. The Truman Show). If new ones get added every year a couple probably drop off.
 

humperdink

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polito123 said:
And for the teacher's sanity, it's best that they are not doing the same books every year.
.
PLease, let's not use teacher's sanity as an excuse, especially as it's costing the public millions a year.
A school book costs anything from €20 - €50+!

Teacher's sanity indeed
 

polito123

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It's not the teacher's fault! Many of the books are dictated by the Department as has been previously stated..

Also, folens stop making books and take out new ones, so you can't expect teachers to pick books, which are out of print and impossible to get. I see where your coming from, but to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the teachers is just wrong...
 

humperdink

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flyer said:
I think some of the plays, poets, novels etc change each year and this is dictated by the department. The rest are probably fairly fixed from one year to the next but there seem to be some change. I saw a list of the films on the English course once and there were several new films on the course (e.g. The Truman Show). If new ones get added every year a couple probably drop off.
Ok, I accept that, that's the way it's always been. But books like religion, Domestic science/home ec, CSPE, Geography, History, languages etc.

There's no reason these books can't be the same each year. No reason whatsoever. (bar the teacher's sanity)
 

mairteenpak

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The Department of education should prepare first rate course material. If this requires taking the 20 most able teachers in each subject and putting the appropriate material together so be it, by each teacher, doing a chapter each and submitting it for review by the other 19.

Such texts should be published on line and made available printed in chapters, such that the relevant chapters from all subject texts could be easily carried to school by students, rather than hauling their entire collection of books to school each day. Since the copyright would be vested in the Department of Education any Student of an Irish School could be licenced to make copied and print it as they see fit.

Such a strategy would level the playing field in terms of access to good course materials, and should raise standards across the board.

"Stroud on Engineering Mathematics" was a text introduced into the Polytechnics in the UK in the 70s and it immediately was a success with more than 80% of students scoring over 80% using it.
 

daisylady

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humperdink said:
aef1 said:
Many local bookshops however do offer good quaility second hand books for cheap. If they are old editions you can photocopy the new bits. We are also book share within family and friends so books are passed around when people are finished the year.
Why should people have to go through all that hassle, why?

Why can't teachers be forced to follow a set rule? I don't understand, it's just not logical, and a complete nightmare for parents already stretched to the limit.
Its actually not that much hassle. It would take about a day. Its just shopping around which is what a prudent person should do anyway.

A set rule of what? I dont understand. Children need books for school. How you choose to spend your money on those books is up to parents.

It would be great if school could bulk but text books and sell them for cheap but I dont think they would be financially able to do so.
 

tic tac man

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May 27, 2007
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I think you're underestimating the role of the publishers. Outside of English, where the syllabus varies from year to year, I think most teachers will stay with a good book once they find one, but the publishers often update the books after only a few years.

You may think that teachers have wilfully changed a book from one year to another, I think it more likely that the either the teacher (and students) found a book to be inadequate, or that the book has been updated.

Teacher's gain no financial benefit from choosing a particular book. So they can hardly be accused of ripping anybody off.
 

humperdink

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tic tac man said:
Teacher's gain no financial benefit from choosing a particular book.

Can that be proved?

Bearing in mind that most schools offer a school book ordering service.
 

zakalwe

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Oct 20, 2005
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mairteenpak said:
The Department of education should prepare first rate course material. If this requires taking the 20 most able teachers in each subject and putting the appropriate material together so be it, by each teacher, doing a chapter each and submitting it for review by the other 19.

Such texts should be published on line and made available printed in chapters, such that the relevant chapters from all subject texts could be easily carried to school by students, rather than hauling their entire collection of books to school each day. Since the copyright would be vested in the Department of Education any Student of an Irish School could be licenced to make copied and print it as they see fit.

Such a strategy would level the playing field in terms of access to good course materials, and should raise standards across the board.

"Stroud on Engineering Mathematics" was a text introduced into the Polytechnics in the UK in the 70s and it immediately was a success with more than 80% of students scoring over 80% using it.
That is a great idea. and one, if i remember correctly, the Institute of Education (the gring school on leeson street) use.
 


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