The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) has introduced a new method of procuring and equipping public schools with text books in order to reduce the workload that the institution faces when getting the books to rural schools.
According to the NCDC Director, Charles Gahima, the procurement and distribution of books in schools has been taking most of their time hence diverting the institution from its core business.
“The core business of NCDC is to do research, develop new curriculums…but most of our time has been consumed by trying to make sure that we get the books to respective districts, which is why we have decided to decentralise the process by having the publishers take the books directly to schools,” explained Gahima.
NCDC opened bids to publishers and over 20 were selected by a group of 135 trained teachers who evaluated their books to ensure that they conform to the curriculum.
According to Gahima, the selected publishers will supply books for the next five years.
Under the new method, a team comprised of two teachers, parent and the school head will be given the books and the school will be allowed to select four books from each publisher.
After the selection, schools will have to place orders for the required books through the district and NCDC will provide virtual money to the districts for the procurement.
The publishers through their local distributors will thereafter distribute the books to schools themselves and will present proof of distribution before being paid by the government.
“When publishers start taking these books to districts, there will most likely be a natural demand for the books which will result into setting up of bookshops at district levels. This will widen readership in country and will also help private schools easily access the books,” he said.
Gahima added that the new method will help broaden teachers knowledge since the publishers will be required to train them on how to use their books.
The new decentralised method whose budget has been set to begin in the 2010/2011 financial year is estimated to cost the government at least Rwf7 billion.
However, Gahima says that like it happens to all starting projects, the institution the new method is likely to meet some hurdles but was optimistic that it would be faster as schools get acquainted with it.