An e-book initiative has been operationalised at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Institute (ABHTI) aimed at reducing the high cost of textbooks to its 300 students.
The programme, which got underway at the start of the new academic year, is funded through a $5,000 contribution by the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA) Tourism Development Fund.
The funds were used to purchase 40 books that cover around 90 per cent of the textbooks needed for the courses at the institute, among them hospital management, resource management, culinary arts, and food and beverage.
“It will give them (students) the edge to develop their skills in whatever area of study that they come to the school to study,” said Executive Director at the ABHTI, Calvin Ambrose, noting that books cost as much as $300 each.
Additionally, he said, students would only be charged $200 per academic year to have access to all books.
AHTA Chairman Andrew Hedley said the association was keen on partnering with the ABHTI on the new initiative.
“We certainly felt that providing access to these e-books would be an invaluable resource to the ABHTI. Clearly this is an unlimited resource to the school, which provides the opportunity for students to download these e-books and students will have access to the material…This will hopefully lead to the students avoiding having to pay significant costs on textbooks etc, which is one of the challenges that the ABHIT faces,” he said.
The money from the AHTA was drawn from funds collected by a group of hotels that asked each guest to make a US$1 voluntary contribution per night towards the development of Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product.
“Providing e-books for the students of the ABHTI fits perfectly with the objectives of the fund as they are the next generation that will lead the industry forward,” said Neil Forrester, general manager of the AHTA.
“The provision of e-books for the students through the medium of our Tourism Development Fund further strengthens the partnership between the AHTA and the ABHTI and demonstrates the support of the hotel industry for the institution, which is playing such an important role in preparing the future generation of young Antiguans who will lead this industry in the coming years,” Forrester added.