Publishers make their case

The controversy continues over the intention of publishers to increase the prices of textbooks, for reasons they deem legitimate in view of the rise of several raw materials. On the other hand, families live in unprecedented social congestion.

President of the National Federation of Parents’ Associations, Noureddine Akkouri believes that the expected increase in the price of textbooks is unacceptable and would only aggravate and exacerbate the problems of the education system and the dropout rates.

In a statement to MoroccoLatestNewsAkkouri said that “ this wave of price increases affected most products“, believing that “ so it makes no sense to add the books too“.

The parents and guardians of the pupils had submitted a proposal to the Ministry of National Education, confided to us the president of the Federation, which suggests doing without a large number of textbooks and being content with basic books for the learning, while the rest of the textbooks could be shared between students and the teacher within the classroom.

This evolution of prices will not contribute to stability within the Moroccan school“, supported Akkouri, noting that the program on which the supervisory ministry is working to fight against school wastage, in particular by providing school books, and by distributing schoolbags or the Tayssir program “ will no longer have any meaning“.

The educational actor therefore called “ the State, which wants to fight against school dropout ” at “to find a formula to stop this process, whether by reducing taxes on publishers in order to avoid an increase in the price of books or by putting in place other alternatives that would help to overcome the pressure that Moroccan families are under during this period“.

Publishers also have their arguments which they consider to be more than legitimate. In this regard, Ahmed Filali Al-Ansari, president of the Moroccan Association of Publishers, pointed out that the latter have submitted a claim file which includes a certain number of indicators and data confirming the legitimacy of the request for an increase in price.

Publishers take into account the purchasing power of citizens and current economic and social conditions, he nevertheless argues.

It is not possible to discuss proposals, whether related to tax reduction or otherwise, until the administration has announced its decisions regarding our demands, in order to avoid confusion. In addition, any proposal requires an in-depth study before talking about whether or not to accept to implement it.“, explained Al-Ansari to MoroccoLatestNews.

The prices of school textbooks currently in force were fixed some twenty years ago, specifies our interlocutor, noting that it is a question of ” regulated prices which we are not allowed to touch“.

The publishers’ request is simple, especially since a large percentage of these books are financed by the State through the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), and in the event of a price increase, certain books only will be concerned and not all“, he clarified.

Today, the biggest concern according to the president of the Moroccan Association of Publishers remains the supply of books in sufficient quantity and with the quality required for the coming school year.

Asked about the issue, the Minister responsible for Sports, Chakib Benmoussa, called for the preservation of the national priority in the field of the publication of school textbooks, implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic, and this in the wake of claims by national publishers to revise textbook prices.

Invited to the MAP Forum on Monday, Chakib Benmoussa insisted on the importance of making efforts to reduce profit margins and the cost of production, adding that printers must make an effort to keep production costs down in force internationally and so that publishers do not assume the increase in these costs.

He further said that the government is examining the demand from national publishers, while taking into account the increase in paper prices in the world market.

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