Publishers want Grade 4 curriculum designs, say business booming

They incurred huge losses with the sudden change of curriculum.

In Summary

• The publishers say teachers are gradually accepting the new CBC books too.

Vendors along GPO Street in Mombasa selling text books / FILE
Vendors along GPO Street in Mombasa selling text books / FILE

Book publishers on Monday asked the government to give them curriculum designs and content for Grade 4 and higher so they can start working on the textbooks early.

The publishers want to avoid the problems they experienced when the competency-based curriculum was first rolled out. 

Targeters Educational Publishers head of operations Boniface Kiarie said lack of access to the design and content of the new curriculum led to huge losses after they printed books that were not in conformity with the new curriculum.

“After we got the designs, we printed books that were needed. Although the damage had been done,” Kiarie said.

They spoke during the 44th Kenya Secondary School Heads Association's annual conference at the Kenya School of Revenue Administration in Mombasa.

They said they are recording booming sales as teachers begin to embrace the books after initial confusion about its design and content for the CBC books. 

Kiarie said 80 per cent of the new curriculum is about the ability of students as opposed to the old 8-4-4 system.

He said the only blip was the haste with which the CBC was introduced, catching most of them unawares.

“The only problem with payment is that it comes late. When there is a delay somewhere, it affects the whole production chain,” Kiarie said.

School heads have complained that some books are availed to them late because the government delays releasing funds for textbooks.

Charles Chege, the head of marketing and sales at the High Flyers Series, said they were ready for change but politics came into play.

“Some people had vested interests which affected things. I don’t see anything bad with the CBC,” he said.

Chege said condemning the curriculum in totality is unfair as there is no perfect curriculum in the world.

“These things are done by humans who are not perfect,” he said.

Chege said the change in the curriculum, like any other change, hurt the sales and they were forced to lay off almost half of their employees.

“If you are in business, you have to cushion yourself against that,” he said.

The publisher said those saying they were not prepared are not genuine.

“A book cannot be written and printed in one year. There was a process of preparation because teachers worked on the books. Books are usually done by teachers,” he said.

He said fear of the unknown is what has led to opposition to the new curriculum.