Kenya: Why Class One and Two Pupils Are Yet to Get New Textbooks

Kisumu Girls High School students celebrate after receiving textbooks from the national government (file photo).

Accredited publishers have blamed the shortage of new curriculum books for classes One and Two on a lack of printers.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KIDC) Tuesday told Parliament that only one of the five publishers it hired to produce the books has a printer and the rest rely on third parties for printing works.

The institute blamed the arrangement for delays in printing the text books, delaying the smooth kick off of the new curriculum amid calls by teachers for its postponement to next year.

Some public schools are yet to receive adequate text books nine weeks into the first term while the private institutions started accessing the books from the second week of February.

“As it turned out, publishers we engaged except one outsource printing services. The local printers on the other hand import paper which caused production delays,” said KICD director Julius Jwan.

The new curriculum kicked off in January with an emphasis on practical teaching.

About 235 primary schools have placed their Class Three pupils on the new curriculum despite being optional at that stage.

It will replace the 8-4—4 system that was introduced in 1985 and was blamed for being heavy on theory.

Among accredited publishers for the new curriculum is Spotlight Publishers, Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF), Moran Publishers and Oxford University Press.

Books are categorised according to nature of practical activities, including Art & craft, English language, hygiene & nutrition, mathematics, environmental, Kiswahili, religious and indigenous language.

Under the previous regime, the government would give schools money to purchase books from preferred publishers whose learning texts had been listed in an official roster known as the Orange Book.

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