Why textbooks matter in education

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has warned there is a serious problem with the framework of textbook distribution in public schools under the free basic education system.
The alarm is that after 13 years of Free Primary Education and eight years of Free Day Secondary Education programmes in the country, public schools have not attained the expected 1:1 pupil to textbook ratio. Instead, the average pupil to book ratio is anywhere between 3:1 and 5:1, and in some cases, 10:1.
This reality cannot be reconciled with the billions of shillings that the Government annually allocates to textbooks for students in public Primary and secondary schools. Three weeks ago, the Cabinet secretary dispatched a team comprising education officials from Jogoo House in Nairobi, County Education officials and Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in Nakuru County to several schools in Nakuru. The report the officials prepared for him validated fears that students in some schools have been denied access to textbooks as envisaged by the policies, programmes and initiatives the government has undertaken.

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