The The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has moved to replace literature setbooks used in schools and teacher training colleges.
The curriculum developer had asked publishers to submit print literary texts in English and Kiswahili for evaluation.
The books will replace the current ones, which were introduced in schools in 2018.
The new setbooks to be introduced will be in use from the month of May 2022 when the current Form two students shall be joining Form 3.
KCSE set texts are changed after every four years.
The process of changing or replacing the books involves a rigorous panel, which includes quality assurance standard officers from the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) officers.
Tutors of TTCs, teachers of secondary schools and university dons in Kiswahili and English are also involved in the process of evaluation.
Prior to the undergoing approval, the KICD received a total of 142 books from 39 publishers after the timeline of submission began in March 2021.
These consisted of 52 set books for English and 90 set books for Kiswahili.
At the moment ten books are listed in this category and are among the vetted and prescribed books.
- A Grain of Wheat – by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
- Perched Earth – by Elieshi Lemo
- The Successor – by Francis Imbuga
- The Floods – by John Ruganda
- Julius Ceasar – by Wlliam Shakespear
- Edited – by Chinua Achebe
- Dilemma of a Ghost – by Ama Ata Aidoo
- Maru – by Bessie Head
- Time and River – by Zee Edzell
- Silas Marner – By George Eliot
For literature in English, submissions were called for a novel, a play and an anthology of short stories, whereas for fasihi ya Kiswahili (Kiswahili literature), tamthilia (play), riwaya (novel) and hadithi fupi (short stories) will be the areas for submission.
The call stirred stiff competition as the setbook market is one of the most lucrative in the industry, with guaranteed huge sales spread over four years.
Setbooks are also the most targeted by book pirates, who cash in on the huge market.
For example, there are 751,150 candidates registered for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.
The new literature books will be studied by students who will join Form 3 next year in April in the reorganised crash schools calendar. They will be studied for four years.
It has become even better this year after the Ministry of Education started purchasing the books directly from publishers and supplying to schools. The ministry has also been buying and supplying textbooks directly to schools since 2018. The strategy has been praised for achieving the once-elusive 1:1 student-to-book ratio, but it has also seen some bookshops close down.
“The literary texts should be submitted for secondary Form Three and Four students and teacher trainees in teacher training colleges. The materials presented for evaluation and granted approval will be used in Kenyan educational institutions,” said KICD CEO Charles Ong’ondo.
Publishers made their submissions by noon on March 18.
Publishers paid a submission and evaluation fee of Sh140,000.
Those who are successful and will be expected to effect corrections will pay Sh100,000 for ‘corrections inputting’ according to guidelines released by KICD.
The institute had anticipated the evaluation to be complete by April 6, after which the Curriculum Technical Committee wouldl vet evaluation report up to April 13 but this was not possible.
KICD council will give formal approval of the committee’s recommendations and announce the results this month.
In response to previous allegations about corruption in the selection process, KICD introduced ‘blind’ tendering where manuscripts are submitted as spiral-bound copies bearing no identification of the publisher, title of book or the author.
Publishers are also busy preparing materials for Grade Six in the competency-based curriculum.
However publishers complained that the time allocated for the preparation of the books was inadequate.