New English and Kiswahili setbooks to be used in 2018

Friday December 29 2017

Parents buy books at Savani’s Book Centre Ltd,

Parents buy books at Savani’s Book Centre Ltd, Nairobi on December 29, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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All secondary schools are set to have new English and Kiswahili setbooks from next year.

The old setbooks have been in use since 2013 and were tested in the 2017 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.

According to a letter to all secondary school headteachers, county and sub-county directors of education and other officials, the new setbooks will be used by Form Three students and will be part of the curriculum for the next four years.


“This is to inform you that the final phase in change of setbooks for English literature and Fasihi ya Kiswahili for secondary schools for 2018-2022 has been finalised,” said the letter by Dr Belio Kipsang, the Education Principal Secretary. The letter, dated December 18, was signed by the director of quality assurance services, Mr Pius Mutisya.

Blossoms of the Savannah by Henry ole Kulet will replace The River and the Source by Grace Ogot as the compulsory novel starting next year.

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, will be the new play to replace The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht. The Pearl by John Steinbeck, Memories we Lost by Chris Wanjala and Inheritance by David Mulwa will be the next optional setbooks; students will be required to choose only one from the three.


In Kiswahili, Chozi La Heri by Assumpta K Matei will from 2018 replace Kidagaa Kimemwozoea as a compulsory book for the next four years. Kigogo by Pauline Kea Kyovi is the new play and will remain so until 2021 while Tumbo Lisiloshiba na Hadithi Nyingine by Alifa Chokocho and Dumu Kayanda will be the new compulsory short stories from 2017 to 2021.

Meanwhile, the ministry has incorporated security measures in the new setbooks aimed at reining in piracy to help schools, parents and students buy genuine copies with the correct content.

The books will have a security tag and a running foot note: “Approved by KICD 2017 Edition and Kimeidhinishwa na KICD Toleo la 2017”. The foot note will run on every page for English and Kiswahili respectively.