Which countries provide free textbooks for their students?

Written By: Cudy

17th April 2023

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International Schools in Singapore don’t provide free textbooks for students, but government schools give them out free. This is based on information from the MOE website.


In Malaysia, textbooks are provided free by the government for students in all government schools. However, international schools charge parents for textbooks/course materials.

The cost of these can be up to $200 per year depending on the book and course level. These are based on information from schools that offer such services in Kuala Lumpur.


In Indonesia, teachers at public schools often buy their own teaching materials and distribute them to students before school starts. This means that there is no set textbook fee.

Although, some teachers may ask for a donation of IDR 5k ($0.5) – IDR 50k ($3) per semester. To supports their books and supplies.

In private/international schools, books can cost around IDR 200k ($15) per semester or more depending on the subject and grade level.

The fees information collected by IndoParenting Blog from parents who have sent their kids to private/international school in Indonesia.


In the Philippines, free textbooks are provided to government schools but not private schools. This is based on information from the Department of Education (DepEd) website.


In India, textbooks are provided free at government schools. However, private schools charge parents for the books/course materials. The costs can be up to $200 per year depending on the book and course level.

This is based on information from schools that offer such services in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, students must buy all their textbooks for school. It is starting from Grade 1. Although, some schools do offer a limited number of free books to students in need.

Private schools provide free textbooks (based on information from the Ministry of Education website).

Read similar articles about Best Mathematics Assessment Book for PSLE or 5 tips for students revising for examinations in Singapore on our Cudy Blog.

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