, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i says the government will introduce a new system of distributing textbooks to children in public primary and secondary schools from next year.
The Cabinet Secretary stated that the current system of distribution had been abused as the schools never bought the books as required.
He said the 1:1 pupil to textbook ratio had not been attained in majority of schools, saying students were denied instructional materials because of the flaws in the system.
“The best gift a parent can give his children is to buy a book for them. Kenyans need to develop and deepen their reading culture,” he stated.
He stated that the country could be better than it was if citizens spend time reading, noting that the habit would enable Kenyans to grow their knowledge and expand their knowledge about the world and things.
He challenged parents to spend time to read with and for their school going children and expressed concern that 50 per cent of teachers did not go to school.
He was commenting on a UN report to the effect that nearly half of primary school teachers in Kenya do not go to class, costing the country Sh27 billion annually.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang further underscored the role of books, saying they embody content and instructional materials that are critical to the effective delivery of the curriculum.
The Chairman of the Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) David Waweru said that books played a central role in the education and growth of the child and had an enormous positive impact on student achievement.
“Book development and publishing should therefore be considered a vital area of the national interest—and asset to be protected,” he said.