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Transcript of remarks by SED

     The following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, at a media session on the policy of debundling textbooks and teaching and learning materials for pricing today (May 31):

Reporter: Can you explain why you think this is actually regrettable? Isn't the government supposed to give more of a soothing of the burden on parents on this issue and why are you giving one more year for the publishers to co-operate? Isn't it that this issue has been dragging on for years or a decade?

Secretary for Education: Exactly, the problem has dragged on for years. You recall last year we were exactly in the same position when we appeared before the Legislative Council to discuss this particular issue. It was with agreement of the publishers and also Legco members that they said they needed one year, that was last year, to sort out all the problems relating to copyright. It was on that basis, there was an agreement to withhold the measure for one year so as to enable them to sort out all the problems relating to copyright. In return, they have agreed to freeze the price of textbooks for one year. We had expected that within last year, the last 12 months, they would have done something about the copyright issue. But now we are thoroughly disappointed to hear that during that one year they haven't done anything, and not only that, they have pushed back the year for the completion of the copyright problem for another three years. So that is exceptionally unhelpful and we find that we can't tolerate this situation any longer.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:35


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