The Portuguese Publishers and Booksellers Association (APEL) gives a “positive assessment” of the textbook distribution process, with market supply “exceeding 90%”. The APEL School Book Commission stresses in a statement that school editors have had “a little over a month to try to do what takes six months of work” with regard to the production of books. , following the suspension of manual returns, a measure approved by Parliament during the vote on the supplementary budget in July.
In addition, the decision to make the textbooks for this academic year available to students of the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education and secondary education in public schools, and the offer to 1st cycle students was already insured.
Even if the first five weeks of this academic year, which is taking its first steps, are intended exclusively for the recovery of learning from the previous year – the strategy that led the Ministry of Education to stop collecting textbooks, since last year’s books will still be needed – APEL says publishers “have always had a primary goal of reaching this point with the majority of textbooks distributed by bookstores across the country.”
The PUBLIC tried to contact some publishers, but all refused to comment on the specific situation of their orders, referring to the press release published on Wednesday by APEL and corroborating the scenario described by the association. Industry sources, however, pointed to the effort all publishers have made to ensure that all orders are ready in time for use.
The manuals that have not yet been distributed, APEL says, “are being reprinted and will be available in the next few days,” and the industry expects the process to be completed by October, even before the end of the. first five weeks of the project. academic year, aimed at recovering and consolidating the materials of the previous year.
APEL expressed concern about tight delivery times as early as July 24, when the decision to make the textbooks available to students of all years was confirmed – so far, only the distribution of textbooks for the 1st cycle was planned. The measure, which APEL deemed “frankly positive” from an educational point of view despite the complications it implied for publishers, forced publishers to reformulate all the production and distribution plans they had to respond to the situation, about a week ago from the start of the issuance of coupons for the platform of free textbooks (MEGA) for the years of continuity.
The response to such a demand in such a short time was obtained thanks to the subcontracting of several Portuguese printers and the strengthening of professional teams in the fields of printing and logistics. “The option of delivering production to foreign printers has been ruled out, with the intention of helping the Portuguese sector in times of crisis,” adds APEL.
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The association also mentions that the booksellers who took care of orders placed by families, with APEL to emphasize “professionalism and competence”.
According to the MEGA platform, the reuse of textbooks will resume as early as next year, which means that last year’s books and new ones will have to be returned at the end of this school year.