Parents rush to snap up new book with past PSLE papers

Parents rush to snap up new book with past PSLE papers
INTERESTED: A woman checking out the new PSLE books at a Popular outlet at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.

It's not Harry Potter and certainly not Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Nevertheless, Singapore's latest bestseller that's flying off the shelves at the bookstores is sending parents into a tizzy.

And it's not even in demand by its target audience.

Yet, enthusiastic parents are snapping up copies of the new PSLE books, making them sell out within a day of hitting the stores.

The books are a compilation of PSLE papers from the last three years.

On Feb 6, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (Seab) announced that from this year onwards, the papers would be released in full examination format.

The books would be for all subjects for both standard and foundation levels, and released on a yearly basis.

This is the first time that full PSLE papers are being released.

Previously, PSLE questions were released by topics for Maths and Science and by item type (for example, comprehension) for English and Mother Tongue languages.

Through this move, Seab aims to allow parents to more accurately gauge the standard of the PSLE and reduce over-preparation, said a Ministry of Education (MOE) statement.

Ironically, the release has sparked a mad rush by parents, whose children will be sitting for their PSLE, to get hold of the books.

Within the day of their release on Feb 7 at Popular bookstores - the only bookstores to start selling on that date - the books were sold out.

They cost between $2 and $5 each depending on the publishing firm.

A spokesman for Times bookstores said it would be stocking between 50 and 100 copies for each subject at their Tampines 1 outlet by this weekend.

However, a call to the outlet yesterday evening revealed that the books were not in stock yet.

Meanwhile, Popular has started a reservation list for parents who could not get the books.

PUBLISHERS

The new PSLE books are being published by three local publishers - Educational Publishing House (EPH), Singapore Asia Publishers (SAP) and Shing Lee Publishers.

Asked how many copies it had printed, EPH declined to reveal the exact figure but said the number of copies printed would be sufficient for the size of this year's Primary 6 cohort.

More than 42,000 students sat for the PSLE last year.

SAP declined to give figures while Shing Lee did not reply to queries at press time.

A Popular spokesman said it requested for more books to be delivered to their outlets two days after the books were first sold. The books were replenished later that day.

Signboards were also displayed prominently at the entrance of its stores, telling customers that the books were available.

Last Wednesday, an EPH spokesman told TNP that all their stock had been distributed to bookstores and it was considering printing more.

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