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Digital textbooks are making education more affordable and accessible for British Columbians

Anyone who’s purchased a textbook knows how expensive they can be.

They can cost students hundreds of dollars a term and the rate at which they’re updated makes it difficult to rely on the second hand market.

Luckily there’s now open textbooks, where students can download and keep open textbooks as digital versions for free.

They can also print them on their own for a fraction of the traditional textbook cost.

"We're continuing to make education and training as accessible as possible for people," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

"Adult Basic Education opens the door for people to advance their opportunities, improve their chances of success and participate in the workforce.”

Mark added that the investment in more open textbooks helps the government achieve their goal of making Adult Basic Education programs tuition free.

By taking these strides, B.C.’s adult graduation diploma will become the first credential in Canada to be both tuition-free and have free course materials.

The provincial government is providing BCcampus with $250,000 to create or adapt textbooks for all courses in all levels of the B.C. adult graduation diploma.

Math, english, science, social science, computer studies and education and career planning will all be courses covered by the program.

Instructors who choose to use the new resource will eliminate a major education cost, further reducing barriers and improving access for students.

"The cost of textbooks has become a real barrier to students' success in the classroom," said Aran Armutlu, chairperson of the British Columbia Federation of Students.

"Free Adult Basic Education was a resounding victory for B.C. students, and this funding into open education resources further reduces the barriers students face when accessing basic education."

Approximately 86,000 students in B.C. have saved as much as $9 million since the open textbook project was launched.

You can learn more by clicking this link.

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