The move by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria to ban public schools from selling uniforms and textbooks to students will help rein in corrupt officials who abuse their positions to exploit parents.
Allowing parents to purchase school items from preferred distributors and retailers will help bring down the cost of the items which have risen in recent years.
Manufacturers and distributors, including small enterprises in rural areas, will also have an opportunity to get a piece of the lucrative market.
Schools have been single-sourcing uniform and textbook suppliers, locking out small businesses that are critical in promoting manufacturing in rural and remote parts of the country.
We hope that authorities will enforce the directive and act against officials who fail to comply. Schools have in the past defended their decision saying that it ensures that all school kits are of the same quality and standard.
To allay these fears, the Trade and Education ministries should come up with guidelines for all garment manufacturers and suppliers as is the case with textbooks which are approved by the Kenya Institute Of Curriculum Development (KICD).