The government is working with publishers as part of a new business model to facilitate purchase of digital learning materials for public schools in the race to roll out e-learning next year.
The new plan could either see a cut in government’s capi-
tation or increase in number of books bought per child, consid- ering e-books will be about 30 to 50 per cent cheaper as they will eliminate printing costs.
An online government por- tal will be created for publish- ers to distribute their e-books to schools, effectively doing away with the old capitation model and allow publishers to bid for supply contracts through the Internet. It will also see creation of payment and download of materials models and capac- ity building for publishers and content creators.
Information Communication Technology Author ity (ICTA) chair Victor Kyalo said the authority is working with the ministries of ICT and Edu- cation and publishers to craft a new model of operation ex- pected to be in place towards the end of next month.
“We want to embrace part- nerships as we roll out the proj- ect gradually in pilot stages. The government has seen it neces- sary to effectively engage the industry to deliver the laptop dream to pupils,” said Kyalo.
Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) chairman David Waweru said the plan will revolutionarie the publishing mar ket by offering a bigger digital platform for players to sell their content.
The publishing industry is estimated to be worth about Sh12 billion annually with 95 per cent coming from the sale of textbooks.
Publishers said they are looking forward to increased sales of e-books with the mar- ket tipped to get materials at much cheaper rates compared with printed copies starting next year.
“The digital shift is unstop- pable. Initially, we had fears over how we will be paid for our digital content but we are glad the government is working on a model,” said Waweru.