A Grade Two textbook that appeared to encourage pupils to commit suicide has been recalled from the market after an uproar from parents.
The book, Smart Score Encyclopedia Volume 1 by Longhorn Publishers, also seemed to mock people with mental health problems in addition to having numerous spelling mistakes. Parents lamented that the book gave children inappropriate choices for real-life situations.
For instance, the book had a question reading: “Alice says she looks bad. What should you tell her?” The choices provided to pupils for this question included: 1. God loves 2. Kill herself.
Another question read: "Lucy and Margaret are sisters. Lucy is loved more by her parents. What should Margaret do? The choices provided are 1. Kill herself, 2. Do what her parents want.
Mental health advocate Jeff Khira said the rising cases of suicides by pupils in Kenya can be attributed to such classroom content.
“A child's thought process ends up wrongly structured by such knowledge fed to them at their early developmental phase,” Khira said through Twitter.
Longhorn Publishers CEO Maxwell Wahome announced the company had recalled the book and apologized for the mistakes.
“We take pride in providing high-quality learning materials to our customers, but in this instance, we failed. For this we are extremely sorry,” said Wahome.