Publishers blame Govt for hiked textbooks prices
04 January 2016, 21:00
Nairobi - Publishers have blamed the Jubilee administration for hiked textbooks prices as schools reopen this week.
The Kenya Association of Publishers Chairman, David Waweru said parents are going to pay much for their children's textbooks due to the government's failure to scrap the imposed 16% VAT.
"If 16% levy on books by the government was removed, there would be no increase on prices of textbooks and parents would even buy them at lower prices," said Waweru.
He cited the imposed VAT levy, high cost of publishing and depreciated value of Kenyan shilling to the dollar as causes increased price of textbooks.
The renown author, Kithaka Wamberia also accused the government of ignoring the publisher's call to scrap the levy imposed on textbooks and warned that the situation will hamper standards of education.
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"The government made a wrong decision, a decision meant to oppress parents and a decision meant to lower leaning standards. Publishers are not to blame but the government for coming up with laws we have been opposed to for a long time," said Wamberia.
Meanwhile, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has condemned the government for its failure to stop public schools principals from hiking fees.
ODM Chairman John Mbadi, claimed that the government might be behind the headteachers' move to hike fees contrary to the harmonized fee structure for public schools that came into effect last year.
"We wonder why headteachers employed by the government can irregularly increase fees and other chargea without the government's knowledge," said Mbadi.He maintained that the opposition will not remain mum as parents suffer in the hands of "unscrupulous" principals hiking schools fees.
However, Teachers Service Commission has deployed officers across the country to ensure no school overcharge fees contrary to the government's directive.
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