Parents of students enrolled in the first junior secondary school (JSS) have reason to rejoice after the state guaranteed them its help in supplying study materials in all learning areas.
According to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), which is in charge of evaluating and procuring all curriculum materials, JSS students in all public schools will receive textbooks for all 12 compulsory topics as well as four optional study areas.
The government, according to KICD Chief Executive Officer Charles Ong’ondo, would ensure that learning materials are ready before schools open on January 23.
The government will supply a book for every learner in every subject, starting January 30,” said Prof Ong’ondo, emphasising that this will not include work books.
He said even with the government buying the books, it will not restrict schools to mandatory textbooks.
“The other books will still be available to the learners to buy because the other books we have approved are also okay,” he said.
“As a measure of safeguarding parents, we encourage schools to only buy one textbook and if they need more, they just use them as reference because they are drawn from the same curriculum design.”
He said that the government had chosen the lowest bidder in each subject area to supply public schools across the entire nation.
The course books will include teacher’s guides, according to Ong’ondo, and will also be modified for students with specific needs.
The 12 essential subjects for junior secondary school include math, English, Kiswahili, integrated science, home science, visual art, performing arts, social studies, religion, and foreign languages.
Ong’ondo attributed the holdup in distributing textbooks for the first class to the argument about JSS’s domicile.
He said that the publishers have already been hired by the government to deliver the books by the end of January. “The KICD will distribute books based on the list of schools, and the students are the property of the Ministry of Education.”
He said some learners may move from one school to another during the transition period and urged headteachers to give the correct information in good time.
“The movement of learners in schools is sometimes a challenge since headteachers delay in feeding us with the change in the number so that we can adjust the number of books,” Ong’ondo said.
Influx in public schools
Furthermore, he said that the institute could be unable to obtain accurate data due to the students’ relocation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a surge in public schools.
Oxford, Spotlight, Mountain Top Publishers, EAEP, and Moran Publishers are among the publishers whose works were chosen for the English course.
Four novels by EAEP, Moran, Pezi, and Kenya Literature Bureau are suggested for Kiswahili readers.
Three publications by Mountain Top Publishers, Distinction, and Story Moja are suggested for home science.
The eight chosen books from KLB, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF), Evangel, MTP, Moran, Pezi, Spear, and Story Moja will be available for schools to pick from for agriculture.
Integrated Science will have eight texts from Pezi, EAEP, Bookmark, Distinction Publishers, MTP, Story Moja, Oxford and Malezi.
Life Skills has five textbooks recommended while Mathematics will have six books same as Religious Education, while Visual Arts will have two just as Physical Education, Social Studies, Performing Arts and Pre-Technical studies.
Computer Science will have three, Health Education four and Business studies five.
Visual Arts learners will use either the recommended text from KLB or JKF. Only French and Physical Education & Sports learners have one textbook recommended.
For Social Studies, two books will be available.
Health Education learners will have a choice of four textbooks while those in Performing Arts have three recommended textbooks while Business Studies have two.
Technical subjects have two recommended textbooks.