Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) has secured support from Kopinor of Norway for the implementation of a project known as School Book Development project.
The project being implemented from 2017 to 2021 according to the copyright body, aims at enhancing and creating local educational publishing industry that is skilled, sustainable and functional in serving the needs of local secondary school education in the country.
Project Officer Tressar Msokera Nhlane, said the book project was key in that it has helped in increasing the capacity of participated local publishers, authors, editors, book illustrators and book designers through capacity building.
“Workshops and training sessions were conducted to assist participants in developing textbooks in Agriculture, Chichewa, English, Geography and History that are contextualized and in line with secondary school curriculum,” Nhlane said.
She said the developed textbooks were evaluated by Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) and approved by Ministry of Education.
“This project is enhancing indigenous expertise in educational publishing. The project will increase availability of supplementary core subject textbooks in selected secondary schools,” Nhlane said.
She said the project will support the printing cost of the production of 74,000 textbooks.
“These textbooks will be distributed to 60 secondary schools across the country, targeting all Education Divisions. The project will also make a contribution on the impact of the reading culture in these selected schools due to the availability of textbooks,” Nhlane said.
She also said that the project has helped in strengthening relationships.
“It has strengthened the relationship between publisher and author through the development of the standard publishing contract. The MIE for example is now viewed as a partner rather than a supervisor and there is also a better understanding of the creative rights of the different players in book publishing,” Nhlane said.
She said the project has also helped in increasing visibility of stakeholders citing Malawi Union of Academic and Non- Fiction Authors (Muana) which has had a 36 percent membership increase.
Cosoma has since requested for bids for the printing of books for the School Development project.