Book Publishing Association of Malawi (Bpam) has bemoaned the challenges the publishing industry is going through at the moment due to Covid.
With several sectors including the creative industry struggling due to the pandemic, Bpam says publishers have, among other things, scaled down operations and staff Bpam President Maureen Masamba has since called for support from the government.
“At least if the government supported schools with approved textbook packages through allocation of funds things would be fine,” Masamba said.
She said in the longer term, in order to make online learning practical, Ministry of Education could collaborate with publishers to create an online platform for all existing approved textbooks instead of developing new material.
“The beauty about the existing approved textbooks is that they are based on current teaching and learning curriculum and syllabus,” Masamba said.
She said as an arts association and book publishers, they feel they would be an integral partner in making online education successful.
“Other African countries have successfully implemented this model. It is a win-win scenario. While teaching and learning is taking place, publishers would be able to get financial benefits from textbook downloads,” the Bpam leader said.
Masamba also said piracy of textbooks is also hitting hard on publishers.
“An Authorised photocopying and digitising of textbooks is on the rise; as an association we are working with Cosoma to get to the bottom of this malpractice,” she said.