The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) has ordered the immediate withdrawal of a textbook titled “History of Ghana for Basic Schools – Learners’ Book Four,” upon revelations of some inaccurate information made by its authors.
The authors are Francis Benjamin Appiah and Henry David Appiah.
According to a section of the book, Christianity has incited physical conflict and doctrinal dispute in Ghana and globally.
It stated that Christianity is responsible for the high rate of poverty in Ghana and also claimed that the religious group makes people lackadaisical in their attitude towards finding practical ways to improve their undesirable living conditions.
Following this has been a backlash from experts and a section of the public.
NaCCA has released a press statement condemning the book and ordered its removal from the market, in that it does not follow the designed curriculum.
“The attention of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) has been drawn to a publication making rounds in the media about the content of a textbook “History of Ghana for Basic Schools-Learners’ Book Four” published by Excellence Publications.
“The said publication from Excellence Series was taken through the standard protocols established under the approval process of the Council and therefore comes to us as a surprise. This is because the content as published by the media is not the true reflection of what NaCCA approved.
“The Council wishes to state that the material in question is not an approved content material by NaCCA. The Council urges the general public to continue to bring to its notice, any suspicious material in the market that may be deemed to have been emanated from NaCCA.
“NaCCA will not hesitate to sanction publishers who publish materials without recourse to the established protocols of the Council. We urge the public not to hesitate to contact our outfit for information on the right content and materials for use in our pre-tertiary schools,” the statement said.
Experts reacted to the claims
Some education experts have responded to some of the claims made in the book.
Programmes Manager of the Education Watch (EduWatch), Divine Kpe explained that contrary to the statement that Christianity or religion has caused physical conflicts and doctrinal disputes, Ghana is rather known for its peaceful nature due to religion.
He therefore expressed disappointment at the NaCCA for approving the book without thorough verification of the claims made, stating that accuracy of content is one of the criteria in approving text books for schools.
Another expert, Executive Director of the Institute of Education Studies, Dr. Peter Anti expressed that there is lack of consistency in the book because in a particular chapter, the title did not reflect the content below it.
“If you look at the heading, it is negative effects of Christian missionaries, then the content talks about religion. That means that the people who were writing this book really didn’t have an understanding of what they were talking about,” he said on JoyNews’ AM Show on Thursday.
He also noted that such a book should not even be targeted towards primary 4 pupils because they at that stage, are incapable of debating the claims and making their own deductions.
He explained that it would have been prudent if the target level was either the Senior or Junior High Schools.
Meanwhile in response to the growing concerns, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ministry of Education, Yaw Opoku Mensah said the book in circulation was not what was originally approved because the officially approved one does not make the claims as referenced.
He noted that the authorities would take the necessary actions to make available the approved copy.
However, the experts want the publishers to be punished for doing a shoddy work.