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Transcript of remarks by SED

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, at a media session on textbook issues after attending the Legislative Council meeting this afternoon (May 9):

Reporter:  Publishers will bring the complaint to the Ombudsman's Office ...... What do you have to say about that ...... ?

Secretary for Education: This is the first time I heard that they are taking a case to the Ombudsman. This morning we had a meeting. At the meeting, I made it very clear to them that I can't accept the fact that they have marked the price so high for the books intended for teachers, because over the years they have been using that book, and the costs of developing the so-called teachers' copy have already been absorbed in the production of the students' copy. They have been selling it for the last 10, 15 years, so whatever costs for developing those copies have been recouped. So that's why I can't accept the contention that the price for the teachers' copy now is marked at a few times more expensive than that of the students' copy.

Reporter: What will be the Government's next step if the publishers failed to comply with the Government's demand?

Secretary for Education: We of course want parents to be able to buy textbooks for next year. I think on the part of the publishers, they also want to sell their books for next year. So it is a win-win situation if they come up with our demand and let us have the list as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will lose the opportunity to sell any books next year.

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

Ends/Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:05


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