Primary School head teachers suffered a blow after the Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Prof. George Magoha maintained that he would not rescind on the plan to decentralize the procurement and distribution of textbooks in public schools.
Prof. Magoha who failed to succumb to the tutors’ demands said the textbook policy would remain a government affair assuring that by next week, all books for grade four curriculum will be in schools.
“Textbooks shall continue to be purchased by the government and we are going to ensure that we do that. Those who are saying they want to buy books let them forget that,” said Magoha on the sidelines of the Fifteenth KEPSHA Annual Delegates Meeting in Mombasa on Tuesday.
Prof. Magoha said he would conduct constant visits to various public schools during the December holiday, to ensure all public schools received the learning materials before the beginning of the first term in January to avoid inconveniences.
“We are going to conduct random checks to find if all the books are in schools by Dec, 9. So if I come to your schools when you are on Christmas don’t panic, it’s part of my job,” Magoha told the Primary School heads.
The CS also maintained that he was not ready for any talks regarding the textbooks policy even as the Kenya National Union of Teachers called for audience with the ministry. He said the government is keen to ensure one pupil one textbook ratio.
KNUT asked Prof. Magoha to reverse the plan and allow the school heads to enjoy the privilege to manage capitation, procure and distribute the books by themselves. Although, he said they could still secure slots to the relevant schools if they got the pass marks.
“Those who missed slots in the national schools because they did not select well can still get a chance, but those who are crying foul should blame themselves,” he said. Although, he said they could still secure slots to the relevant schools if they got the pass marks.
Magoha assured the teachers that his ministry has put in place measures to ensure a successful rollout in Grade Four in January next year. He urged all the KEPSHA members to support the implementation of the CBC in Grade Four next year.
“To this end, the printing of 14 million text books for the Fourth Graders has been concluded. The distribution of the textbooks will be concluded to ensure that all learners have the necessary materials as schools open in January,” said Magoha.
On form one selection, the minister said that those who missed opportunities in public national schools are to blame for failing to make the correct choices. Magoha maintained that the selection process was thorough and all the students’ choices were put into consideration.
“They were placed in their first choices and the schools they are crying foul about were not number one choice. You can go and cross check our data, it’s available,” said Magoha. He added that the ministry would ensure beginning January, the 100 percent transition would be achieved.
“I wish to announce that starting January, we will largely depend on you to ensure that the 100 per cent transition policy is achieved. As a result, I am asking you to develop a tracking system within your individual schools to ensure that you work with chiefs and other education officials and TSC field officers to account for all your 2019 candidates,” said Magoha.
“We will expect daily reports from yourselves showing the progress of Form One admission of all candidates who sat the KCPE at your institutions,” he added.
By Hussein Abdullahi