Coltart said the textbooks would be printed within four months after signing the contracts.
He said the programme is expected to ease shortages of reading materials in schools.
At the moment the textbook ratio at primary schools varies from between 15 children to one book to 36 children to one at rural schools.
Coltart’s target is a ratio of two children to one book.
“In the next week I will be signing contracts with several local printing and publishing houses that will see 13 million text books printed,” said Coltart.
He said this during the centenary celebrations of Milton High School, one of the oldest schools in the country.
Coltart bemoaned the dilapidated state of most schools in the country. He revealed that his ministry was “working closely” with the World Bank with the aim of getting a per capita grant.
The money would be channelled into infrastructure development at schools.
“The dilapidated state of schools infrastructure is a result of serious under-funding by government for two decades and that has negatively affected learning. For Milton High School alone US$1 million is required for rehabilitation” said Coltart.