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Publishers Decry Increased Book Piracy During Launch Of CBC Encyclopedias

During the launch of three encyclopedia volumes, Kenya Literature Bureau CEO, Victor Lomaria, said the books will aid pupils in their examinations.

According to him, the books cover 12 subjects in one volume and feature a diverse approach to formative and summative evaluation.

The books, he added, feature question and answer parts that correspond to the methods used by the Kenya National Examinations Council to assess students in the CBC grades.

"We have done a lot of research on these products, and we were able to note certain gaps in knowledge and skills after interacting with the teachers, pupils, and booksellers. The books will help our learners to perform well in their assessment," he said.

Publishers in Nakuru County have expressed concern about the rise in the piracy of books and other learning materials offered to unknowing parents and teachers.

According to Kenya Publishers Association head Kamau Kiarie, more cases of counterfeit books are being recorded in Nakuru.

Kiarie Kamau, speaking in Nakuru at the launch of Kenya Literature Bureau encyclopedias for grades four, five, and six, said counterfeiters use technology to replicate books and sell them at low costs, causing publishers to lose money.

“We sell them in hard copy and digital format, but the biggest challenge we are facing as publishers is piracy.” 

He claimed that pirated works are of poor production quality and contain questionable content, with some of the books having pages missing, illegible, or mixed up.

He also said that pirated books are sold by people participating in the illegal trade through bookshops, street sellers, or directly to parents and schools, tempting them with lower costs.

He urged the government to assist in the fight against piracy by encouraging teachers, parents, and students to purchase books from reputable book merchants.

According to Kamau, if the tendency continues, the quality of education will decline, and publishers would lose money.

He also asked school leaders to streamline the book distribution process by speeding up the receipt of books and signing delivery notes, citing the government's strict timetables for publishers.

The government will battle piracy, according to Rift Valley Regional Education Director Jared Obiero, by guaranteeing that only legitimate books are sold to schools and parents.

He did, however, urge teachers and parents to avoid buying books on the streets and instead purchase them from authorized booksellers and bookshops. He also asked parents to report any suspect booksellers to the authorities.

“Piracy kills creativity and development in the publishing sector. We will fully support the sector in ensuring that our schools buy the correct books and also ensure that the rate of piracy is reduced,” said Obiero.

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