Albania to provide free textbooks to students in grades 1-5
TIRANA, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Albanian government will provide students in grades 1-5 with free textbooks in the 2019-2020 school year, Minister of Education, Sport and Youth Besa Shahini announced here on Monday.
In a video message published on Facebook, Shahini said that the free textbooks will be distributed from Monday.
"Last year, about 125,000 students from first to fourth grades received free textbooks, and for the new 2019-2020 school year the number of beneficiaries has increased to 155,000, since fifth grade students have been added to this initiative," Shahini said.
According to the minister, the initiative started years ago with budget of 600 million Albanian lek (5.3 million U.S. dollars). Until now, only students in grades 1-4 as well as those with special needs and minority students have been involved.
Shahini explained that only the first grade textbooks will be completely new, while those in the other grades will receive used textbooks.
According to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, the scheme of returning textbooks to school libraries for reuse has proved effective: 80 percent of them can now be reused.
The new school year will begin on Sept. 16 in Albania.