Back to school move part of ministry’s wider plan to distribute books directly from publishers

Education CS Fred Matiang'i Photo:Courtesy

All pupils in Class One and Two will from Tuesday be given mathematics textbooks under a new Government programme meant to improve competency in the subject.

The Ministry of Education has distributed 7.6 million textbooks for the two classes to all schools as the First Term begins.

The last phase of 2.8 million textbooks for the 2018 Class One cohort were dispatched to schools last month under the early grade mathematics programme that seeks a 1:1 pupil-text book ratio.

The programme, part of the Primary Education Development (PRIEDE) project, is meant to improve learners’ competency in mathematics at an early age.

Its implementation coincides with the Ministry of Education’s direct-to-school textbook supply which starts next month in all national schools.

Under the programme, funds that were previously disbursed to schools for purchase of school textbooks will be withdrawn to allow the ministry to buy books from publishers and supply directly to schools.

National PRIEDE Project Coordinator Martha Ekirapa told Sunday Standard yesterday that before last month, 4.8 million textbooks had been supplied to schools under the early grade mathematics component of the programme that is supervised by the World Bank.

“Based on this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results, we observed that performance improved in mathematics, meaning efforts being put on the subject are bearing fruit,” she said. “Some 2.3 million books were distributed under the first batch of supplies last year.”

To ensure the books were in line with the planned new curriculum, Mrs Ekirapa said special teachers’ guides for the targeted subjects were developed.

A further 2.4 million books were supplied under batch two of the text books plan which was completed early this year, she said.

“To support the use of the books in schools in the roll-out of the new curriculum, the Ministry of Education has developed handbooks for teachers on competency based curriculum to be used alongside the Class 1 and 2 books,” Ekirapa said.


She said special early grade mathematics books were also adapted for learners with special needs. 

In total, 19,314 adapted books for special needs children were developed.

Ms Ekirapa said the Government has ensured that the books are supplied at a ratio of 1:1, meaning all children in public primary schools will have books of their own. 

Already, more than 90,000 primary school teachers across the country have been trained on teaching the early grade mathematics.

They are part of the bigger number of teachers who will be trained under the Sh8.8 billion programme funded by Global Partnership for Education (GPE) under the supervision of the World Bank.

Under the project, headteachers from 4,000 pilot schools that post a mean mark of 243 and below in the KCPE examination were offered computer training meant to equip them with skills to improve their management skills under the School Improvement Project (SIP) component.

The half-mark mean score in the KCPE is 250 marks out of the possible 500. 

The SIP also seeks to help raise standards of school management and accountability and provide specific interventions in key areas of the sub-sector. It is intended to help the country address areas not yet fully covered by other initiatives.

The project will also cover a pilot to improve performance through strengthened school management and accountability in the delivery of primary education.

It will also aim at strengthening capacity for research-based education sector policy development at national level.