Textbooks in Kenya most expensive in East Africa – Publishers

Textbooks in Kenya most expensive in East Africa – Publishers

Textbook publishers have faulted the National Assembly for rejecting their proposal for scrapping of Value Added Tax on textbooks.

Kenya Publishers Association chair David Waweru said the government has increased capitation to public schools to buy textbooks but has on the other hand hiked VAT, hence making textbooks costlier.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Waweru termed textbooks in the country as the most expensive in the East African region and adversely affecting learning in public schools, resulting in poor grades.

However, in an statement to media houses in January, the chairman had gaven contradicting comparisons on the price of textbooks in Kenya and her neighbours saying: “In fact, all recent independent reports show that among all sub-Saharan African countries, prices of books are lowest in Kenya.”

He added that the increased VAT on textbooks means learners will fewer textbooks and that has in turn resulted in lower business for the publishers.

In January this year the association had refuted reports indicating that there would be a 15 per cent hike in the price of textbooks.

In a statement sent to media houses, the association chair David Waweru termed the report appearing on a local daily as alarmist and false, saying the source cited is not an industry insider.

“The facts are that out of over 4,000 textbooks in the Orange Book – the Approved List of Textbooks published by the Ministry of Education – only about 200 books are affected by a price increase of between 4 per cent to 10 per cent,” he said.

Waweru at the time said that the Kenya Publishers Association, as a key partner with government and other key stakeholders in the education sector, works to provide quality materials cost-effectively to ensure that no child in Kenya will be left behind.



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