“High-quality educational resources can’t be improvised, they take years of investment to produce, test and verify.”

The full text:

The International Publishers Association – IPA is extremely concerned at reports from the Dominican Republic that the Ministry of Education will be nationalizing textbook production, thereby eliminating choice for teachers from a range of educational resources from a variety of publishers.

The decision follows other recent developments in the Latin America region where São Paulo State in Brazil, and Mexico have both attempted to take control of educational resources. In São Paulo the decision was overturned by the courts, but the situation in Mexico remains uncertain and of grave concern. 

According to local reports from August 2023, the Publishing Industry Association of the Dominican Republic revealed that the Ministry of Education approved 79 state-owned textbooks without adhering to the established Regulations and raising concerns over their quality. This decision by the Ministry of Education undermines the transparency of the process for creating textbooks and educational resources, as well as other initiatives designed to support the local book sector. 

Reacting to these developments, José Borghino, Secretary General of the IPA, said: “We urge the government of the Dominican Republic to re-assess the situation and urgently change its approach. High-quality educational resources can’t be improvised, they take years of investment to produce, test and verify. Educational Publishers are the lifeblood of local publishing in many places around the world. Undermining them can undermine the whole publishing landscape of a country. We stand with the educational publishers of the Dominican Republic and remain willing to work with the government to find adequate and appropriate alternatives to their current policy.”