Book sellers fault government over new directive on text books

Association of text books sellers Nakuru chapter have raised their concerns over the directive that will see government directly supply textbooks to schools starting next year.

Addressing media in Nakuru on Thursday morning led by their chairman Albert Kimani, the text books sellers faulted the government over the move terming it a big blow to their businesses.

They refuted claims that they sell text books with different prices from what the government has recommended.

“All prices of text books are recommended by government .We sell books as per the price recommended by the government via special book called the orange book and no other price as the government claims” he said.

While noting that they have books still in their stores yet the government had lowered the price, the book sellers called on the government to come out clear on how they will sell the remaining books in the stores at a lower price adding that the move will affect the operations in their bookshops.

According to them if Education CS will not agree to dialogue over the same then shall there be close down of numerous bookshops across the country.

“We have books in stores and not unless the government comes out clean to tell us how we shall sell them then am seeing many of our bookshops closing down and it will be very painful. We are calling on Education CS to consult over the same” he said.

Sentiments echoed by the Vice chairman Kenya association of Book sellers Mr. Patrick Matindi who stated that it was wrong for government to make such a move that will affect several people.

He added that the book sellers have really helped solve the employment issue by ensuring many are employed in the various bookshops across the country and close down on the same will really affect the livelihoods.

According to him there should be an exit program for the book sellers if at all the government wants them out adding that many schools owe them money after books were supplied but no payments made yet.

“Sacking all the booksellers and the workers and the dependants of the bookshops will not help. If they want to have the book sellers out then let us have an exit program. We should know how we will be paid the debts that schools owe us.

This they spoke just a day after the government through education CS Dr.Fred Mataing’I announced that it will directly supply textbooks to schools starting next year to reduce corruption in procurement.
This is a deliberate move aimed at ensuring that the funds meant for the purchase of textbooks are used accordingly.

In the new ministerial guidelines, form one students who report to school between January 9 and 12 will be issued with six text books: Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Kiswahili.

National distribution of the books will be done on January 4 before students reopen schools for the first term, when the free secondary school education will be rolled out.

Money for schools will be disbursed by then to ensure that all education programmes go on smoothly.

According to Dr Matiang’i, about seven publishers, both government and private ones will produce the books for core curriculum subjects.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:The Association of text books sellers Nakuru chapter led by chairman Albert Kimani(centre),Vice chairman Kenya association of Book sellers Mr. Patrick Matindi(Left) and Clement Ngure(Njoro Book Point)addressing media in Nakuru on Thursday morning over the new directive by government to directly supply text books to schools.

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