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Early grade literacy programme launched

The Government through the Tusome programme model, managed to reduce the prices of textbooks by more than 50 per cent of the prevailing cost for class One and Two pupils in public primary schools.

Principal Secretary, Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr. Julius Jwan (right), receives six laptops from Mark Andrew Meassick, Mission Director of USAID Kenya. The laptops are installed with the Tusome Early Grade content on August 24, 2021, during the official launch of the Tusome Endline at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi. Photo by Kibet Cheptumo

The Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr. Julius Jwan, noted that the model has made the government adopt a cheaper way of buying textbooks in schools.

He said the introduction of the 1:1 textbook to pupils has greatly improved the performance of pupils in public primary schools.

Jwan said the government had enabled every learner in primary school to have textbooks in all learning areas, a move he said, has enabled the learners to study more than had been in the past.

The PS  made the remarks at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), when presiding over the launch of a Report on Early Grade Literacy programme that the government, jointly with USAID introduced to improve the teaching and learning of literacy in all public primary schools in the country.

The Tusome programme was funded by USAID at the cost of Sh 8.88 billion and targeted 5.4 million class One and Two pupils in public primary schools in the country.

“The revision that the government was undertaking on Tusome textbooks underscores the dynamic nature of the curriculum,” the PS said, while noting that the curriculum is a living thing.

Jwan assured all stakeholders that the changes were aimed at ensuring harmony and continuing relevance of the curriculum taught and learned in schools.

As part of the Tusome programme, the Mission Director, USAID Kenya and East Africa, Mr Mark Meassick, said that the Ministry and USAID had developed and distributed 26 million books aligned to the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).

“We have put CBC aligned English and Kiswahili books into the hands of every Kenyan school child and their teachers,” Meassick said, reiterating that the programme had led to positive gains in learning outcomes.

Among dignitaries who graced the occasion included; the Chief Executive Officer, KICD, Prof. Charles Ong’ondo, the Chief Executive Officer, Kenya National Examination Council, Dr. David Njengere, and other senior education officers.

By Michael Omondi

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