With the question presented today in the Assembly of the Republic, which is signed by Deputies Ana Rita Bessa and Ilda Araújo Novo, the centrists want to know if the guardianship is aware of “bookseller debt situations because of the lack of payment of vouchers” Mega – Free School Manuals until the 12th grade ”.
In today's issue, the Jornal de Notícias (JN) reports that there are booksellers who are suspending orders for textbooks until the Ministry of Education pays the books because they are no longer able to borrow.
Cited in the news, the Ministry led by Tiago Brandão Rodrigues pointed out that "there is no record of complaints" but has failed to detail how much has already been paid to booksellers, noting that payments are being "made on time".
Given this, the CDS-PP questions the Ministry of Education about "how many cases have already been reported to the Institute for Financial Management of Education, which is responsible for paying booksellers."
The centrists also want to know how late the manual payments are and how much is owed, as well as "when will the debt of the Ministry of Education to the booksellers be fully settled".
“The CDS-PP considers that this situation, which it has repeatedly denounced and anticipated, is unsustainable and proves once again the mismanagement of this Government's education policies. And therefore, it is pertinent to obtain clarification from the Minister of Education, ”said the Members who sign the document.
The party recalls that “several times, orally and in writing, have warned and questioned the Minister of Education about the problems with the voucher system for the delivery of free textbooks, considering that it generates blockages and harms students and families. ”
The CDS-PP recalls that in September last year, "warned that many local bookstores were then still unable to order books, as the ministry was not making payments or transferring funds." .
Already "in January this year, the CDS-PP expressed concern after a report by the Court of Auditors revealed that the free textbooks would cost 100 million more euros than was foreseen in the State Budget."
“Given the scale of the hole in the accounts, the CDS-PP stated at the time that state debt to bookstores would surely increase and that they would not be able to supply the market, which would lead many students to start the school year without textbooks, ”the text adds,“ the report in question stated that the sub-budgeting had already taken place in 2018 and pointed to this as the main reason for a debt of 3.1 million in March 2019. euros to bookstores. ”
The CDS-PP also notes that, “despite the reinforcement of appropriations, in 2018 the final difference between the forecasted cost and the real was around one million euros” and anticipates that “a difference of 100 million euros would surely bring many more embarrassments. ”
“And if last year the textbooks were free only for grades 1 and 2, which made it possible for bookstores to be funded through the 7th to 12th grade textbooks paid by parents, this ended the extension of gratuitousness to all cycles, ”the centrist parliamentary group notes, noting that“ unfortunately ”was“ right in its concerns ”.