The roll-out of grade four in the next two months is on course amidst optimism that the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) will improve the quality of education.
Distribution of grade four CBC aligned government procured textbooks to more than 22,000 public primary schools across the country commenced last month and expected to be finalized by the end of November.
This followed a directive by the Ministry of Education to Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and publishers that the distribution of Grade 4 textbooks should not be delayed.
During a meeting held at KICD, the Deputy Director-Primary Education at the Ministry of Education, Ms Nereah Olick said that a list of enrollment numbers of learners per school prepared by the ministry had been shared with the publishers.
The list will help in determining the number of books that should be given to each school, a measure meant to ensure that schools do not end up with excess or less books.
Ms Olick assured the publishers that the Ministry supports the exercise and challenged them to freely share any challenges they experience on the ground saying the lessons learnt will help streamline the process.
She warned that there will be no extension of the exercise and warned publishers that shall not comply with the strict deadline for distributing the books risk having their contract cancelled.
The publishers and the distributors will have to first contact sub-county education officers at their respective jurisdictions before moving out to deliver the books in schools.
A list of the approved books has been made public-in the mainstream media and on the KICD website-to ensure parents and teachers are well guided
“You need to work as a team and ensure that Grade 4 textbooks are delivered to every school and in time ahead of the rollout of the CBC in grade four, next year,” KICD Chief Executive Officer, Dr Julius Jwan told the publishers. Any delays or deviation from the schedule, he added, will not be tolerated.
The Kenya Publishers Association Chairman, Mr. Lawrence Njagi has assured Kenyans that the books will be delivered as required and publishers are already working round the clock to ensure the distribution process remains above board.
Mr Njagi also asked publishers to adhere to their contractual obligations with the government and ensure that only the high-quality Grade 4 textbooks that were approved for distribution end up in schools.
“We don’t want short-cuts or any sideshows that could derail the process. The approved books must be available in schools and bookshops in time so that unscrupulous traders don’t take advantage of a shortage to dupe parents into buying wrong books,” Mr Njagi said.
The books to be distributed are; Kiswahili, English, Mathematics, Social Studies, CRE, IRE, Home science, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Music, Arts and Craft, Physical and Health Education. The government provides only one-course book per learning area.