PARLIAMENT heard yesterday that the newly introduced centralized system of purchasing textbooks in the Ministry of Education has given room to massive corruption.
The publishers told the Committee on Education, Science and Technology that the centralized system of purchasing textbooks in the ministry was a major concern for all publishers as it gave room to a lot of corruption.
Book World managing director Bharat Nayee said he did not agree with the current system of purchasing textbooks because Government was losing a lot of resources.
Mr Nayee said the centralized system of purchasing textbooks compelled Government to deliver the books across the country at a huge cost.
“I do not agree with the ministry for changing the purchasing system from decentralized to centralized,” he said.
Mr Nayee also said publishers were facing a lot of challenges in the evaluation process with the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC).
He said the process of evaluating textbooks by CDC was not efficient and always took long. “Reports and files of our tenders go missing in the Ministry of Education,” Mr Nayee said.
He told Members of Parliament that the Curriculum Development Centre needed to present a clear evaluation procedure as well as give clear time lines on the evaluation process.
Mr Nayee said there was need for more expertise, better funding and support by Government.
And Marvel Publishers proprietor Benard Kamwenshi complained that the CDC evaluation charge of K1,800 per book was too high.
“We have not been able to push in some of our main course textbooks to the Curriculum Development Centre for evaluation and final approval due to high charges per book and this we have not been able to afford,” Mr Kamwenshi said.
He said Government should come up with a deliberate policy to help local publishers and individual authors to afford publishing costs by buying off rights of education materials that would be found fitting for the country and produce such materials in bulk.