Eight publishers have been contracted by the government to print and distribute Sh1.2 billion Grade Six textbooks.
The textbooks are expected to be in all public primary schools by May next year when the present Grade Five will move to Grade Six.
The government negotiated prices for 12 textbooks for learners and teachers’ guides in a procurement method adopted in 2017. At the time, about Sh14 billion was lost through inflated school textbook prices.
In its Report of the Re-Evaluation of School Textbooks, it emerged that publishers fixed cover prices of recommended textbooks at nearly three times higher the actual prices.
The Grade Six pupils’ books prices under the new negotiated prices range between Sh72 and Sh157 for the various titles. While prices for the teachers’ guides will range between Sh72 and Sh279.
These prices may however be higher for over-the-counter purchases as the low prices only apply to the negotiated government direct to schools supplies deal.
A brief seen by The Standard shows that the government through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) embarked on evaluation of Grade Six-course materials.
Eligible publishers were invited to place their bids for printing, packaging and distributing of the core textbooks for Grade Six learners.
Final evaluation report shows that Jomo Kenyatta Foundation (JKF), Access, Mountaintop, Oneplanet, Mentor, Longhorn, Spotlight, and Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) will print and distribute the various books to schools.
The KLB will print and distribute Physical and Health Education textbooks for grade Six at a cost of Sh145 million. Each pupils book will cost Sh139 and Sh279 for teacher’s guide.
KLB will also print Social Studies textbooks at a cost of Sh123 million. Pupils book will be bought at Sh119 and Sh203 for teachers’ guides.
Mountaintop publishers will also print and distribute two titles for primary schools. The publisher will distribute Home Science and Agriculture textbooks. The prices will range between Sh72 and Sh180 for pupils’ textbooks and teachers’ guides.
And the government will buy three titles from Spotlight publishers at a total cost of Sh118 million.
The publisher will print and distribute Islamic Religious Education (IRE) textbooks, Music and Art and Craft.
Prices for the three titles will range between Sh79 and Sh177 for both pupils’ book and teachers' guide.
Mentor publishers will print and distribute Mathematics textbooks worth Sh134 million. Pupils books will be bought at a cost of Sh131, while teachers' guide will go for Sh160.
JKF will print and distribute English textbooks worth Sh103 million. Each pupil's book will be bought by the government at a cost of Sh99 while the teachers’ guide will be purchased at Sh134.
Access publishers will print and distribute Kiswahili textbooks at a cost of Sh103 million. As Leghorn will print and distribute Christian Religious Education (CRE) textbooks at a cost of Sh101 million. The pupils' book will cost the government Sh105 and Sh200 for teachers’ guide
Science and Technology textbooks will be printed and distributed by Oneplanet publishers at a cost of Sh94 million. Pupils book will be bought at Sh92 while teachers guide will go for Sh84.
In addition to these, the evaluation report also reveals details of award for the set books to secondary schools and Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs).
For literature in English, set books by Oxford, KLB, Longhorn, Spotlight, and East African publishers have been picked to replace the existing ones.
Kenyan novel, ‘Blossoms of the Savannah’ which lapses in 2022 will be replaced by ‘Fathers of the Nation’ in January 2023. The set book is published by Oxford.
The play, ‘A doll’s House’ which lapses in 2022 will be replaced by ‘The rest of the World’ in January 2023. The book is published by the KLB.
‘The Pearl’ which lapses in 2021 will be replaced by ‘From the rest of The World’ in May 2022. The book is published by longhorn. ‘Inheritance’ which lapses in 2022 will be replaced by ‘Parliament of the Owls’ in January 2023. The book is published by east African Education Publishers.
Anthology ‘Memories we Lost’ which lapses in 2021 will be replaced by ‘A Silent song and other Stories’ in May 2022. The book is published by Spotlight.
And for Kiswahili Fasihi, Tamthilia ‘Kigogo’ which lapses in 2021 will be replaced by ‘Si Shwari’ in 2022. The book is published by Access.
Hadithi Fupi, ‘Tumbo Lisoloshiba’ which also lapses in 2021 will be replaced by ‘Pambazuko ya Machweo na Hadithi Nyingine’ in 2022. The book is published by Mountaintop.
Riwaya, ‘Chozi la Heri’ which lapses in 2020 will be replaced by ‘Cheche za Moto” in 2023. The book is published by JKF.
The report also gives set books for Diploma in Primary Teacher Education. Tamthilia ‘Kifunganjia by Story Moja publishers will start in September 2021.
The novel ‘The Spider’s Web’ by OnePlanet will also start in September 2021.
And for set books for Diploma in Secondary Teacher Education, the Kenyan novel ‘Grain of Wheat’ which lapses in 2020 will be replaced by ‘Vanishing Herds’ in September 2021. The book is published by Longhorn.
The play ‘The Successor’, which lapses in 2020 will be replaced by ‘A hole in the Key’ in September 2021. The book is published by Oxford.
An anthology ‘Give me a Chance’ by Bookmark Africa will also start in September 2021.
And the novel, ‘Maru’, which lapses in 2020 will be replaced by ‘Eyo’ in September 2021. It is published by Booktalk publishers.