Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Editorial on Indonesian approach to OA textbooks

Cheaper schoolbooks, editorial, The Jakarta Post, April 23, 2008.

How do you make school textbooks cheaper? The government has turned to a combination of old traditions and modern technology to beat book prices, considered one of the sources for the high cost of education in this country. Let's hope it works.

The new book policy, introduced in 2005 but for some reason still not widely known to the public, involves lengthening the shelf life of a book to a minimum of five years, buying up the copyrights of as many school textbooks as the government can afford and uploading them in digital form to the Internet and making them available for free download to those who need them. ...

The government has allocated Rp 20 billion (US$2.19 million) this year to buy the copyrights of widely used school textbooks and upload them to the Internet.

Students will then be free to download and print the books. The government is even encouraging people to print them out and resell them, knowing they cannot charge too much or people will simply turn to the original source. With the One Laptop For Every Child concept soon coming to Indonesia, perhaps there will be no need for anyone to print books, with e-books taking over. ...

See also previous coverage of the Indonesian plan.