No form one will be asked to report to school with a textbook as it has been the norm following the directive from the Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i.
The announcement now relieves parents and guardians from the burden of buying textbooks as the responsibility now shifts to the Ministry of Education.
According to Dr. Matiang’i, every form one student will receive six textbooks on the reporting day, completely taking away the role of schools having to purchase textbooks directly from publishers.
Every form one student will receive six textbooks ranging from Mathematics, Swahili, English, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. The books will also bear the government’s court of arms on the front page to keep off fraudsters.
Following the directive, schools will no longer receive capitation funds that were meant for the purchase of books.
In the past, publishers have been distributing books directly to the schools. The government says some heads of schools have been using the avenue to misuse public funds meant for education for their own personal gain.
Some publishers have already come out, guns blazing, accusing the government of wanting to drive them out of business. They say that the government has not put down the structures that will make sure that publishers benefit from the program.
The government is also planning to roll out the free secondary program from January 2018, a move that is likely to see the population of students in schools balloon. Among the challenges the government is likely to face is the population increase which will lead to the high student to teacher as well as the infrastructure. The quality of the education is also likely to be compromised.
The government has said that it will be hiring more than 70,000 teachers to help ease the shortage of teachers in the country.