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We are delighted to have been able to support the Kenyan government’s plan to improve the country’s education system, and their initiative to provide every secondary school child with books of their own.

After the 2017 election, the Kenyan government and World Bank collaborated and announced an initiative to improve learning outcomes for the country’s students—dubbed the Schools Education Quality Improvement Plan (SEQIP). We are delighted that we were able to support this venture and in doing so, help the education of children in Kenya.

The first stage of the government’s plan involved supplying all secondary school pupils with textbooks for each of the six main subjects: Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. This had never before been achieved and would be life-changing for many children and parents. The government also introduced a new curriculum that took a very different approach and focused on skill-building rather than learning-by-rote.

The initiative and introduction of the new curriculum meant millions of textbooks would need to be created and disseminated to students all over Kenya, and primary school teachers would need more resources as well as support to use new teaching methods.

As part of our mission is to further education worldwide, we wanted to help with this challenge. John Mwazemba, General Manager for OUP East Africa, explains: ‘We are the last international educational publisher publishing in Kenya. The textbook projects speak directly to our mission. It reinforces our role as a partner to government in helping to educate Kenya’s children and increase their opportunities.’

Our Kenyan team collaborated with colleagues across different departments and countries, as well as curriculum experts and teachers, to provide training and resources to more than 18,000 Kenyan teachers. Thanks to the teamwork of our dedicated people, we were able to deliver more than four million books country-wide in 12 weeks, reaching even remote parts of Kenya not accessed by publishers for years. 

Commenting on our Teacher’s Companion, Patricia, a teacher at Kenya’s Hospital Hill Primary School, said: ‘This is a book with what is needed in the new curriculum. It’s like a bible to me because it guides me with everything that I’m doing in class.’

The value of high-quality textbooks in improving educational outcomes has been well documented. Evidence of their impact here will hopefully be seen in better educational outcomes for the children of Kenya.

Watch a short video on how we supported the SEQIP initiative.