Proposed Pupils’ Textbook with Adult Content in Kenya Attracts Condemnation

Proposed textbook for grade 6 pupils in Kenya, condemned for containing adult content

Kenya is witnessing a controversy around a proposed primary school textbook that has been found to contain adult content with various stakeholders condemning the attempted inclusion of the book in the syllabus. A Catholic Bishop has called for a collective approach in the vetting of content for pupils.

The book whose screenshot was shared online Wednesday September 18, elicited heated debate with comments questioning the kind of content school children in Kenya are exposed to and the process of approving the same.

Some schools had instructed parents with pupils in grade six to purchase the book titled Blood Ties, Kenya’s Textbook Centre, a popular bookstore, confirmed in a press release dated September 18.

“It is very important that the schools only follow only the recommended books by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD),” the Chairman of the Commission for Education and Religious Education of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Bishop Paul Njiru Kariuki told ACI Africa Thursday.

“It is also important that the teachers peruse new books in a syllabus, look at the type of content in there and they also give their own point of view whether that book is appropriate in terms of age,” the bishop of Embu Diocese in Kenya added.


He disapproved the attempted distribution of the book and called for a collective approach in the vetting of books that would include parents.

“The same way we have in boards of schools people who look at accounts and monitor how money is spent, it is high time we also (had) in the board, a member of parent who can participate in (the) vetting of books,” the bishop suggested.

He urged Kenya’s Ministry of Education to be “a little bit more keen ... because if our children are destroyed at a tender age, then as a society and country we will suffer.”

In a Facebook post, Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Dr. Ezekiel Mutua blamed the matter on cartels keen on compromising the morals of children saying, “I am concerned that this country has been taken over by dangerous cartels that are hell bent on destroying the morals of our children.”

“Most of these cartels are in the Media and in Education sectors and are being funded by foreign NGOs to poison the minds of our children,” Dr. Mutua added in reference to the entity that published the controversial book, Storymoja Publishers.

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“Textbooks with bad content are being allowed on our bookstore shelves with wrong age recommendations,” he stated and added, “Foreign NGOs are setting base in Kenya to promote homosexuality and destroy the moral values of our children.”

“We have sold our souls to the devil for money,” the KFCB CEO decried and added, “By the time we wake up from slumber it might be too late.”

Following the online outcry from a section of Kenyans, Textbook Centre announced that it “will not be stocking the book” and “requested the publisher to recall the book.”

KICD, which approves books for use in schools stated on Twitter that it had not approved the book and advised teachers and parents to “rely on the Orange book to buy right books.”

This is happening days after a video of a grade 7 pupil full of vulgarity went viral with many attributing the episode to poor parenting.