Home News Kenyans take on Longhorn Publishers over 'kill yourself' options

Kenyans take on Longhorn Publishers over ‘kill yourself’ options

Kenyans on Twitter have taken on Longhorn publishers over a book that gave pupils an option of ‘Kill yourself’ as an answer to questions.

The Grade 2 book, ‘Longhorn Competence-based Encyclopedia’, asked pupils questions. Among the choices was the contentious option of committing suicide. For example, one of the questions goes;

Lucy and Margret are sisters. Lucy is loved more by her parents. What should Margret do?

A. Kill herself.    B. Do what her parents want

A User by the handle @254Khira brought the matter to the public sphere after sharing photos of the book –

Consequently, Kenyans did not take long to take Longhorn Publishers and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to task over the contentious matter.

Longhorn response

However, Longhorn Publishers responded to the criticism in a quick letter dated 14th, February 2020.

In a newsletter which they shared on their Twitter page, the Publisher stated that they were aware of the matter and had recalled the book.

“We have recalled the books from the market and corrective steps are already in place to ensure that this situation does not happen again. We always aim to improve and your feedback is essential to that process.” Reads part of the newsletter by Maxwell Wahome, the Longhorn publisher’s Group CEO.

Additionally, they went on to state that they valued mental health and would never wish for their ‘products’ to encourage committing suicide.

In fact, the Publisher then encouraged Kenyans to reach to them in the event they found contentious matters in their books.

Not the first time

Nonetheless, the Longhorn Publishers incident is not the first time that Kenyans are sharing mistakes from books. This follows the introduction of the CBC in 2018.

In March 2018, teachers rejected textbooks after they reported multiple errors. Among these errors were wrongful calculations, spelling mistakes, shallow exercises and poor topic arrangement.

Then in October the same year, someone shared the image of a Swahili book on Twitter. The book was about labelling body parts. However, some of the labels were wrong, with body parts given names of other body parts. For example, in the photo, the cheek is labelled as the ear while the chest is labelled as the neck.

Additionally, in January 2019, Targeter Publishers came out with an apology after one of their books also contained misleading information.

Targeter Publishers’ Managing Director, M. Kiarie, gave a public apology after the incident.

“It has come to our attention that one of the books associated with our publication and which had a number of errors has been circulating and it has raised concerns among Kenyans. We as Targeter Educational Publishers Limited wish to inform teachers, parents, pupils and the public at large that what has happened was a mistake done in the line of printing. Nevertheless, we promise to ensure that such errors will never occur again and that the correction will be made in the next week.” Reads part of the apology.

Thus, the current mistakes have led to questions about the quality of textbooks in schools. This is because Longhorn Publishers is one of Kenya’s most reputable publishing houses.




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