Nairobi 7th March, 2013 By Teresia Yulu
School Principals have been cautioned against purchasing pirated instructional materials in the form of text books for students.
The practice is not only exposing students to unauthorized texts with inaccurate information, but also abusing public procurement and regulations, leading to misappropriation of public funds.
In a letter addressed to all county directors of education the director in charge of quality assurance and standards in the Ministry of education Mr. Mohamed Mwinyipembe says the resurgence of these publications is affecting the quality of education in public schools.
The director points out that due to the breach of guidelines, learners have been subjected to the wrong books in some schools and gave the literature set book * Damu Nyeusi by Moran Publishers with corrections on page 11 as an example of a pirated text.
He warned that the purchase of pirated teaching materials with government funds meant for purchase of genuine text books and instructional materials amounted to misappropriation of funds which would lead to prosecution of all those identified.
He has directed school principals to adhere to the purchase of books recommended in the Orange book, which list all books that the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Kenya Institute of Education has recommend for use in Primary and Secondary Schools.
He said the Principals should buy the texts only from recognized registered book sellers.
“All schools should have tender committees for secondary schools and school instructional committees for primary schools”, he points out.
The letter, which is also addressed to district education officers, instructs that all book sellers should adhere to the code of conduct as stipulated in the Orange book which restricts them from dealing with pirated books. It also requires them to stamp page 5 and 13 of all books sold to enable verification by teachers.
The director has called on the concerned principals to get book sellers to replace all pirated books they have supplied to schools instead of asking learners to make corrections in the text books.
“The affected head teachers and principals will be held responsible for abuse of regulations and will meet the costs of the court charges that will arise from legal action against them”, the Director observes.
The letter has been copied to the Teachers Service Commission, the Kenya National Examinations Council, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, teacher Unions KNUT and KUPPET, the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association and the Kenya Primary School Heads Association.