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Economy

Form One students won’t buy books, says Fred Matiang’i

Education secretary Fred Matiang’i (centre) with Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion and  University Education  PS Colletta Suda, December 4, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG
Education secretary Fred Matiang’i (centre) with Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion and University Education PS Colletta Suda, December 4, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG 

Parents of students in secondary schools will be relieved of the burden of buying textbooks after the government opted to purchase the learning materials and restrict Form One pupils to six.

Education secretary Fred Matiang’i said Monday students would only be allowed to have one course book per subject, saying many books were only benefiting those in business.

Dr Matiang’i announced that schools will no longer receive capitation funds for purchasing books once free secondary education programme is rolled out next month.

The six books covering Maths, Kiswahili, English, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology—will be distributed by the State and will bear the government’s court of arms on the front cover.

War front

The review is likely to open another warfront between the government and book publishers who have stated that the directive is meant to drive them out of business.

Dr Matiang’i said the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in collaboration with his ministry had reviewed the collection of books in the Orange Book and identified the core ones in each of the six crucial subjects.

The current Orange Book, a list of approved titles for schools, was last revised in 2003 and has a list of six different copies for each subject.

“About seven publishers including private ones, some of whose text books were chosen, will provide the text books. The books have been selected through a process that is respected by statutes,” the CS said.

“Principals and head teachers should not ask Form Ones to come to school with text books,” he added.

Top candidates

He spoke at the KICD headquarters in Nairobi on Monday during a ceremony to launch the Form One selection and to hand over the list of top candidates picked to join national schools.

He singled out heads of county and sub-county schools for their involvement in fraud in the procurement of textbooks for public schools.

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