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Book distribution to continue despite multiple errors, says PS.

The government has affirmed that the school textbook distribution policy will go on regardless of the alleged errors reported in some books.

The errors reported by teachers and learners come after the government spent Sh7.5 billion to have the textbooks printed and distributed.

The books flagged for errors are Kiswahili, English, Physics, Mathematics and Biology textbooks.

However, Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang who spoke at Masai Mara University said government will not backtrack on the book distribution policy that requires the government to directly purchase textbooks and dispatch them to the public schools.

The PS further dismissed allegations on errors on the books noting that the textbooks distributed direct to schools were picked out of the Orange Book-a document that contains a list of approved textbooks Primary and Secondary Schools.

'The government picked the textbooks from an already existing blueprint of prescribed textbooks that schools have always used before,' Kipsang said.

Kipsang said that the shift in book distribution policy aimed at ensuring all children, regardless of the status of the school, received quality instruction materials that would improve quality learning experience.

The policy that came to force late last 2017 after former Education CS Fred matiang'i faulted the previous distribution policy where the government gave funds to school heads through capitation to purchase the books.

Matiang'i said the policy gave publishers the leeway to influence school heads on which text books to buy thereby compromising learning.

According to Kenya Institute of Curriculum development (KICD) chief executive officer, Julius Jwan said the government chose the textbooks from an approved list, and whose publishers offered the fairest prices.

Jwan said the new policy only saw the government deduct Sh1400 from the Sh4000 allocated to each student for purchase textbooks.

The remaining amount was to be used to purchase other books and those of reference.

'The government asked the publishers to forward the cheapest rates they can offer the approved textbooks at if they bought them at wholesale and it emerged that it was almost half the price of the quotation given to school heads thus saving money,' Jwan told the Star on phone yesterday.

Speaking at the Meru University on Wednesday, Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed admitted that the 33 million books procured by the Government for the new syllabus have multiple error and that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) is addressing the issue.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Mar 10, 2018
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