State bans 16 books for immoral content

MINISTER for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adolf Mkenda has banned 16 supplementary books from being used in schools and education institutions citing immoral content that violates the country’s cultural norms, morals and good practices in upbringing children.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Prof Mkenda warned schools with the stray books in their shelves, saying failure to remove them will attract disciplinary measures including risking the institution’s deregistration.

Moreover, he said, teachers, parents, guardians and students must ensure they do not use the books and report to the relevant authorities, when they find them with their colleagues or in schools.

In the list, 13 books are from the author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Rodrick Rules, Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Last Straw, Diary of a Wimpy Kid-Dog Days, Diary of a Wimpy Kid-The Ugly Truth.

Others are Diary of a Wimpy Kid-Cabin Fever, Diary of a Wimpy Kid-The Third Wheel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid-Hard Luck, Diary of a Wimpy Kid-The Long Haul, Diary of a Wimpy Kid-Old School, Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Double Down, Diary of a Wimpy Kid-The Gateway and Diary of a Wimpy Kid-Diper Overlode.

The list also mentioned Is for TANSGENDER (you know best who you are, Is for LGBTQIA (find the words that make you you) and Sex Education a Guide to Life.

The ministry called upon the public to report availability of the books’ list in any school or education institution, adding that the ministry’s call centre number 0262160270 for landline and 0737962965 cell phones should be notified.

Last week, the ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Francis Michael announced a ban of such books after reports surfaced in the media that some schools were actively using and showing children in primary school how to engage in violence and unethical and immoral acts.

Dr Michael directed education officers and quality controllers to inspect schools to root out the situation.

They were told to visit all schools and libraries to identify unethical books being used by the institutions, promising that the minister for education will announce the list of supplementary books with unethical content.

Prof Mkenda said after yesterday’s announcement of the list of books, any school discovered to be using such material for teaching risks being deregistered.

The PS said it had come to the government’s attention that some schools have been using supplementary books, whose content violates the country’s morals and appropriate upbringing for children.

He directed school owners to observe the rules, regulations and terms of registration of their facilities along with ministerial circulars on the content of books used in schools.

He stated that the country’s educational system is meant to ensure that students receive education and abilities to help them thrive in life, “and it is critical that this education should be based on sound moral principles”.

The government said any book content that is immoral; cultivating cruel, abuse, violence or immoral habits in schools is not allowed thus introducing children to educational materials or information that promote such conduct will not be tolerated.

The ministry has, meanwhile, sought to assure whistleblowers of confidentiality in helping the government to take prompt action to protect pupils/students at all levels.

The ministry welcomes people to report any misconduct touching on the violation of rules, regulations and guidelines, this including sexual corruption and violence in primary and secondary schools.

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