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KLB Sh1.5 billion plan to boost school books printing

By Augustine Oduor | November 7th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

The Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) requires Sh1.5 billion to boost its infrastructure needs for enhanced printing capacity for the next five years.

The Government agency also projects to hire 32 new staff in areas that require critical and technical competence in its various divisions and departments.

In its five-year strategic plan launched this week, KLB says these resources will be necessary to enable it achieve its projected revenue generation of Sh14.8 billion.

Part of the deep investments includes infrastructure needs on its printing press, which will require Sh955 million.

Another Sh322 million will be needed to expand buildings infrastructure, Sh168 million for ICT infrastructure and another Sh74 million for support infrastructure.

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In the 2020-2024 strategic plan, the bureau says that it expects to generate revenue from diversified income streams which include provision of alternative printing, editorial and rental services.

Other sources will come from development ?partners? and donor agencies, printing sales and open market.

“While the projected capital expenditure over the strategic plan period amounts to Sh1.52 billion, the projected cumulative surplus over the five-year period will amount to Sh2.2 billion,” reads the document.

On staff requirements, production department will require 12 additional staff, being the highest staff need. Presently, there are only 51 staff in the department against the actual establishment of 86.

The publishing department will require nine additional staff followed by marketing and business development departments.

The other critical departments – quality assurance, internal audit and risk assurance, sales and customer service – will each get one new staff.

With the investment, the bureau projects a revenue stream of Sh2.7 during the first year of implementation and some Sh2.8 billion in the second year.

Additional Sh1 billion will be generated annually for the subsequent years, according to the plan.

Speaking during the launch of the plan, KLB Managing Director Victor Lomaria said new textbook procurement model and one-textbook-per learner policy alignment are some of the emerging developments for the bureau.

He also listed the Big Four Agenda and introduction of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).

Teaching materials

Under the 2016-2020 strategic plan, Mr Lomaria said that KLB distributed more than 50 million learning and teaching materials to public schools.

And recently, the bureau had 11 out of its 12 titles approved for CBC Grade 5.

Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang said the books are already being supplied to schools.

Kipsang said the provision of e-content will boost the services at Kenya Education cloud "where we host relevant curriculum content".

The PS said the government will continue to supply books to schools, noting that they remain best resources for ensuring a well-educated and literate citizenry.

Speaking broadly on challenges facing the printing industry, Lomaria decried the high importation cost of printing materials occasioned by the unstable currency exchange rates and high shipment costs.

Kenya Literature Bureau KLB)
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