Anti-Corruption Commission
Belio Kipsang
Disqus
EACC
Education
Ethics
JavaScript
Julius Melly
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development
Kenya Literature Bureau
Longhorn
Moran
National Assembly’s Education
Oxford University Press
Tinderet

State eyes textbook tracking software to eliminate cartels

The Education ministry is working with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to develop a mass serialisation software commonly used in the pharmaceutical and food industries. The trace and track system works by printing a unique identifying code onto each product after it has been packaged.The development follows textbook distribution delays by the five publishers in phase of the textbook project owing to bad weather and other logistical challenges.

Education principal secretary Dr Belio Kipsang when he appeared before a parliamentary committee. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

The Education ministry is developing a textbook tracking software as it seeks to monitor distribution in public schools amid delays by contracted publishers in phase one of the ‘one-textbook policy’.

Education principal secretary Belio Kipsang said the ministry is working with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to develop a mass serialisation software commonly used in the pharmaceutical and food industries. The trace and track system works by printing a unique identifying code onto each product after it has been packaged.The development follows textbook distribution delays by the five publishers in phase of the textbook project owing to bad weather and other logistical challenges.“At any one time we will know where the books are,” Dr Kipsang told National Assembly’s Education committee chaired by Tinderet MP Julius Melly.

Publishers involved in the Sh7.6 billion project include Kenya Literature Bureau, Oxford University Press, Moran, Longhorn and East African Educational Publisher.The distribution of textbooks was delayed by poor state of roads after prolonged rains pounded most parts of the country.The government embarked on the ‘one-textbook policy’ at the start of the year in a bid to improve quality of education and cut off cartels in the distribution chain.In 2016, a report by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) unearthed massive fraud in the procurement of textbooks for public schools, with headteachers playing a key role in the racket.The fraud ranged from forged signatures, delivery of phantom books, overpricing and single-sourcing of suppliers by instructional materials selection committees at the school level.The project means that schools no longer get the cash earmarked for textbooks as was the case for a long time.

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