Education Ministry Working to Add Tracking Codes in School Books

  • Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang is in talks with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to come up with a software to track all school books to curb cartels in the industry.

    The software will print a serialized code in all school books before they are distributed. This means that the location of the textbooks will always remain known to the education ministry and KICD.

    Speaking at the National Assembly meeting with the education committee discussing the plans of the ministry regarding learning, Dr Kipsang noted: “At any one time, we will know where the books are.”

    The serialization system is common practice among pharmaceutical products. 

    [caption caption="Former Education CS Fred Matiang'i with PS Belio Kipsang at past event- via Facebook"][/caption]

    Large libraries also place codes on books in order to help with managing the borrowing and returning of books among clients.

    In lieu of the new curriculum that is set to be implemented, the government took it upon itself to distribute learning textbooks to schools aiming to reduce the low book to student ratio in order to push for better learning especially in public schools.

    The distribution plan by the government known as ‘one textbook policy’ was to take place in two phases with the first starting from January to June this year.

    However, there was a problem as publishers who had been given the tenders to publish and transport the close to three million books to various schools failed to do so by June.

    The Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) chairman Lawrence Njagi said the reason for the delay in distributing books was due to bad weather and poor roads.

    The second phase was supposed to begin in August but the publishers stated that there would still be a few hitches.

    The government’s plan to change the curriculum to a more ‘competency-based’ system, according to former CS for education Fred Matiang’i, meant that the 8:4:4 system would be scrapped off.

    The ‘one textbook policy’ also means that schools will not receive funds to buy learning books as the publishers would deliver them. 

    [caption caption="KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion at a past media briefing-via Facebook"][/caption]

    The ministry is also considering introducing one single uniform for all schools in the country which has ignited a heated debate.

    Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion also issued a strike notice for September claiming that the government was introducing policies without consulting teachers.