The messenger logo

Education Minister offers electronic textbooks

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 29
Georgia’s Minister of Education, Alexander Jejelava, has spoken out about the advantage of electronic books and said that gradually they may replace conventional paper textbooks at Georgian schools.

The initiative came shortly after Jejelava’s statement that Georgian schoolchildren’s bags were too heavy to carry and the Education Ministry was searching ways to settle the problem for the next year.

“We have already arranged several meetings between local publishers and the companies which produce and develop electronic books abroad. We are going to tell local publishers to offer electronic textbooks as an alternative,” Jejelava said.

The Minister stated the most favorable situation for him was when a parent had an alternative and access to both electronic and paper textbooks.

“We can tell the parents 'Here is an electronic textbook, here is a paper one, decide yourself how you use them for your children'. A parent may prefer his/her child to get ready for lessons through paper textbooks at home, while carry the electronic version of the same textbook at school,” Jejelava said.

The Minister predicted that in the first two-three years about 50,000 students would choose the electronic textbooks out of the 500,000 students, and the number of users of the electronic textbooks would gradually increase as years passed.

The Minister hoped the first electronic textbooks will appear in Georgia from the next year.

For many years, parents have spoken out on social media and through various petitions against heavy school bags, the increasing weight of school bags and the necessity of some children and older students having to carry several books each weighing between four and nine kilograms.

It is important that students and parents to have an access to both paper and electronic textbooks and they were not forced to make a choice, as students differ and for some of them, electronic options might be more acceptable, when for others getting ready for school might be harder with electronic equipment.

It is obvious that introducing electronic textbooks will be inevitable, as the rest of the world is developing to use them in educational institutions. However, it is the easiest method to address the problem of children carrying heavy bags.