Local printing firms are headed for good business tidings as the State moves to implement Grade Four of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
The Education ministry has ordered that all Grade Four text books be printed in Kenya after seven publishers were picked to supply the required 14.4 million text books.
“The condition for Grade Four contract is that you must use a local printer,” said Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) chairman Lawrence Njagi.
This is a big win for local printers who have been losing business to rivals in countries like India and China.
Only one of the local publishers owns a printer, meaning that the rest usually outsource printing services from third parties.
The seven publishers picked to supply Grade Four books include the State-owned Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB), Longhorn Publishers, Mountain Top Publishers, Moran Publishers, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation— run by the government—, One Planet Publishers and Oxford University Press.
The publishers are required to have printed and delivered the text books to schools by November 28. “This means the Grade Four pupils will find their books in schools by the time schools reopen in January 2020,” said Mr Njagi.
This will be an improvement compared to this year when pupils endured the first term without learning materials following delayed government capitation and uncertainty surrounding the rollout of the CBC.
The new curriculum kicked off in January with an emphasis on practical teaching.
Grade Three learners last month were assessed on various activities across the country to test whether they were benefiting from the new programme.
The government last year began supplying textbooks directly to schools in a move targeted at achieving 1:1 textbook to student ratio in a bid to improve learning.
The direct supply was also aimed at getting rid of cartels in the distribution chain who had been blamed for inflating textbook prices.
Under the previous regime, the government would give schools money to buy books from preferred publishers whose learning texts had been listed in an official roster known as the Orange Book.