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Education CS Matiang’i, Kuppet differ on textbook policy

By Dalton Nyabundi | Jul 8th 2017 | 2 min read
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i 

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has maintained that the ministry will enforce a policy requiring schools to use a key textbook in each subject amid strong opposition from teachers’ union.

The CS has pledged to roll out reforms to restore sanity in the sector. He said schools will no longer be allowed to force parents to purchase more than a text book for each subject.

“Parents cannot buy six text books for each subject. We will not allow it,” he stated.

Dr Matiang’i said schools will be required to use one key text book for each subject and urged parents to adhere to the new directive.

He said cartels have been minting money from parents and vowed to reign in on publishers and errant head teachers.

Speaking during the Kisumu County Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Annual General Meeting at Chulaimbo Boys Secondary School last weekend, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary-General Akelo Misori hit at the minister over a raft of reforms made in secondary education.

Mr Misori said the reforms announced by Matiang’i that only one text book should be used per subject risked limiting “freedom of thought and narrowing the scope of understanding.”

“We are telling him that we must liberalise knowledge and encourage creativity so that we get value for money in diversity. He can regulate the syllabus and the curriculum but there must be freedom for those who want to contribute knowledge through several publishers,” he said.

He also criticised the teacher redistribution plan in a radical shake-up directive from President Uhuru Kenyatta to address shortage and surplus in certain regions. He said Matiang’i is not the employer of teachers and should therefore not order redistribution.

Matiang’i said the ministry will also move to address teacher shortage and dedicate additional funding to the development of school infrastructures.

“It is our responsibility to make our education system successful. We will not relent in our quest to eradicate past vices and challenges,” he said.

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