14 December 2017

Kenya: Matiang'i Rules Out Further Talks on Books Procurement Policy

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has ruled out further discussions on a decision by the government to directly procure books for schools.

Dr Matiang'i criticised teachers' unions over their opposition to the policy.

"We are not going back on the policy of books. Those who are unhappy, I will be very glad to meet you in court," said the CS during the launch of Nasaha Kamusi by Kenya Literature Bureau in Nairobi.

He insisted that schools had failed to procure books in order to have a 1:1 ratio, saying while on a visit in Eastern region he came across a school where 46 students were using two chemistry books in a classroom.

"Learning outcomes have a direct relation to learning materials. We cannot succeed if our children are in schools without learning materials yet the ministry is well funded by the exchequer," he said.

Dr Matiang'i said the theft and corruption that were witnessed in the distribution of books would not be allowed to go on.

"We will not allow profiteers and thieves who do not care about the welfare of our children to hold the sector hostage," said Dr Matiang'i.

"You teach and we bring you books. We want to remove that burden from parents who have had to bear the high cost of education," said the CS.

Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers and Kenya Booksellers and Stationers Association have criticised the decision.

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