Free textbooks: Ombudsman recommends extending the measure to all students in need

The Ombudsman, Maria Lúcia Amaral, addressed a Recommendation for legislative amendment to the Minister of Education to extend the free distribution of textbooks to all demonstrably disadvantaged students attending private or cooperative education.

This Recommendation follows the receipt of more than a dozen complaints from citizens, associations and institutions that have challenged the constitutionality of the option to limit the availability of free textbooks only to pupils attending public schools under the Ministry of Education.

Unlike the complainants, the Ombudsman considers that the measure currently in force, included in Law No. 47/2006, of 28 August, as amended by Law No. 96/2019, of 4 September , does not in itself contradict the fundamental values ​​of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.

However, by the way it is designed, and when unaccompanied by other elements, the Ombudsman concluded that the measure does not appear fair and equitable.

To read the full Recommendation click here [in Portuguese only].