Form Four candidates who sit their national exams in two months received English textbooks last week. As a pointer to the chaos in the distribution of Sh7 billion books purchased by the Government, head teachers said supplies were expected in January, but it was only last week that English textbooks were delivered.
Some school principals expressed their displeasure with the system, saying the distribution of textbooks by the Government has been a nightmare and has greatly affected teaching in schools.
The principals said some schools had received excess books, and others only a few or nothing at all.
Kahi Indimuli, Kenya Secondary School Headteachers Association (Kessha) chairman, said they had raised the issue with the Ministry of Education and Kenya Publishers Association (KPA), through Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
“There is a delay in distribution of textbooks to schools. Some schools have received more books while others have received less. Only a few of the schools started receiving textbooks for English language last week, including mine – Machakos Boys High School,” said Indimuli. He said chaotic distribution of textbooks would affect Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates as schools were using old textbooks, which had not been approved. “The ministry is aware that there is a problem with the distribution of books. We are opening for third and last term this year but we don’t have all books,” said Indimuli. Teachers are also having difficulties in teaching Literature and Fasihi as not all students have the set books. “Each student is supposed to have three set books for Fasihi and three for Literature. But Government has directed that parents buy these books. Parents have refused saying Government buys books. Now teachers are at a loss,” Indimuli said.
He added that they have requested Government to intervene and buy all text books for students. He said the Government had been relying on wrong data to distribute textbooks, and this had resulted in deficits being witnessed across the country. “We have situations where the Ministry of Education supplied books based on the number of Form Four students. But due to the 100 per cent transition, Form Ones in a school can be double the number of those in Form Four, hence the deficit,” said Indimuli. Kenya Primary Schools Head teachers Association chairman Shem Ndolo said many primary schools had been affected.