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Kenya: New Literature, Fasihi Setbooks to Be Released

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The curriculum developer has moved to replace literature setbooks used in schools and teacher training colleges.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has asked publishers to submit print literary texts in English and Kiswahili for evaluation this month. The books will replace the current ones, which were introduced in schools in 2018.

For literature in English, submissions have been called for a novel, a play and an anthology of short stories, whereas for fasihi ya Kiswahili (Kiswahili literature), tamthilia (play), riwaya (novel) and hadithi fupi (short stories) will be the areas for submission.

The call is expected to stir stiff competition as the setbook market is one of the most lucrative in the industry, with guaranteed huge sales spread over four years.

Setbooks are also the most targeted by book pirates, who cash in on the huge market. For example, there are 751,150 candidates registered for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.

The new literature books will be studied by students who will join Form 3 next year in April in the reorganised crash schools calendar. The students are currently in Form One. They will be studied for four years.

It has become even better this year after the Ministry of Education started purchasing the books directly from publishers and supplying to schools. The ministry has also been buying and supplying textbooks directly to schools since 2018. The strategy has been praised for achieving the once-elusive 1:1 student-to-book ratio, but it has also seen some bookshops close down.