Singapore, 1 November 2023 – FairPrice Group announced today that it has opened up donations for the 41st edition of its annual Share-A-Textbook drive. The programme is aimed at providing free pre-loved and MOE-approved textbooks1 to all students in Singapore; especially those in need. All donors have to do is drop-off their pre-loved textbooks at any FairPrice store across Singapore.
Using pre-loved textbooks to alleviate cost of living pressures
At the start of 2023, the prices for textbooks in Singapore increased by seven per cent as publishers were impacted by supply chain infractions caused by uncertain global economic conditions2. In September this year, FairPrice Group conducted the Share-A-Textbook Survey 20233, to gain a better understanding of how the education needs of families have been impacted by the price hikes. The survey was also conducted to find out what types of educational materials were relevant to students and parents. The majority of respondents come from middle and upper-middle income households.
The survey found that:
● 7 in 10 respondents are considering using second-hand textbooks, citing increasing prices and financial constraints as their top two reasons; of these respondents, 57 percent disclosed that they were looking forward to saving between S$100 to S$299 a year by using second-hand textbooks, to reduce expenses and help ease financial burdens
● Assessment books, revision guides and past exam papers are most popular with families – 86 per cent of respondents said that this was their top request when it came to education materials needed, followed by MOE-approved mathematics, mother-tongue and English textbooks
This year, FairPrice Group is partnering with charity =DREAMS to collect, sort and distribute textbooks and supplementary materials such as notes, past exam papers and assessment books. =DREAMS is Singapore’s first secular, co-ed weekday residence that provides after school academics and holistic support to students and families from low-income backgrounds. It offers a child-centric system of care that empowers children from low-income households to aspire towards their dreams, and access a future where they are not limited by financial circumstances4.
Sharon Tay, Board Director, Chair of Finance, =DREAMS, said, “Collaboration with both the community and partners is vital in the journey of raising a child. Our partnership with FairPrice Group through the Share-A-Textbook initiative is built on our mission to empower and inspire children from underprivileged backgrounds, and instil the values of sharing and sustainability in the community. Beyond the books, we aim to shape the future of families and children, and remind everyone that our next generation should always be encouraged and supported to dream big.”
Share-A-Textbook was first launched in 1982 to support the educational needs of underprivileged students and families. Since its launch, the programme has grown to become Singapore’s largest annual textbook donation drive and has brought together 15,000 volunteers who have sorted and distributed used textbooks to students. Today, it has become one of FairPrice Group’s flagship initiatives for promoting the values of sharing, circularity, and recycling in the community.
Alvin Neo, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer, FairPrice Group, said, “Access to education is at the heart of Singapore’s system of meritocracy, where all are rewarded by their ability and industriousness. Today’s students are our future generation of leaders, and we believe that regardless of social or economic background, they are all entitled to a fruitful education on equal footing. This is what we aim to help support through Share-a-Textbook, and our guiding mission of moderating the cost of living for all in Singapore. We are humbled to see people from all walks of life – our corporate partners, social enterprises, schools and families – volunteer to support the needy in our community, cultivate the spirit of sharing, and contribute towards environmental sustainability through the programme.”
Donors can drop off their books at all FairPrice stores, including FairPirce supermarkets, FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets, FairPrice Finest stores, Warehouse Club, and FairPrice Xpress outlets at Esso service stations – a total of 177 touchpoints in multiple retail formats across Singapore. The donation drive will conclude on 30 November 2023, following which volunteers will sort and start distribution to student beneficiaries from sixth to 10th December. For more information, please refer to https://fpg-share-a-textbook.com/ or email email@example.com.
1 Source – MOE website – https://www.moe.gov.sg/education-in-sg/approved-textbook-list
3 Share-A-Textbook Survey 2023: survey profile was 67% parents and 33% students, survey had a total of 283 respondents
4 Source – =Dreams website – https://dreamssingapore.org.sg/about