The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has moved to replace literature setbooks used in secondary schools and teacher training colleges.
KICD has invited publishers to submit print literary texts in English and Kiswahili for evaluation this month. The books will replace the current ones, which were introduced in schools in 2018.
For literature in English, submissions have been 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 is expected to agitate 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. The students are currently in Form One.
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 them 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 3 and 4 students and teacher trainees in teacher training colleges. The materials presented for evaluation and granted approval be used in Kenyan educational institutions” said CEO Charles Ong’ondo.
Publishers are expected to make their submissions by noon on March 18. Interested publishers must, however, formally confirm the materials they wish to submit by Friday this week. Publishers will pay 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 anticipates the evaluation to be complete by April 6, after which the Curriculum Technical Committee will vet the evaluation report up to April 13. Two days later, the KICD council will give formal approval of the committee’s recommendations and announce the results
on April 16.
In response to the 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 the book or the author.
Publishers are also busy preparing materials for Grade Six Ln the competency-based curriculum. Last month, they complained that the time allocated for the preparation of the books was adequate.