The Director for the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Ghana Dr Lloyd Amoah has expressed concerns over the seeming politicization of Ghana’s textbook industry.
The concerns come in the wake of the public anger over portions of the textbook for primary schoolchildren which appears to denigrate Ewes in the country.
Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Tuesday, Dr Amoah said people with political connections and power are in now charge of the production of textbooks for schools.
“Where it seems to be like people with political power and connections are given the contract to write the books. One of the things that seem to catalyze this is what seems to be a certain politicization of the textbook industry. The textbooks we had in the past hardly drew any controversy and we used these textbooks were used for years,” he said.
He urged government to intervene in the matter in order to calm tempers.
“The ministry of education and the presidency must get up to the task of beginning to take a hard look at the matter”.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has filed an urgent question on the floor of parliament for Education Minister Dr Yaw Aduwtum to explain circumstances surrounding the circulation of the controversial textbooks.
The former deputy education minister has also rubbished claims by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment NaCCA that the books have not been approved, saying he had intercepted a letter to the effect that the books were actually approved last year.
There was outrage over the weekend after some people expressed disgust over portions of the textbook for primary schoolchildren which appears to denigrate Ewes in the country.Following that, the NaCCA issued a statement to the effect that the books have not been approved for use.But Mr Ablakwa in an interview with Starr News’ Ibrahim Alhassan said “this is to notify all concerned that I have filed an urgent parliamentary question requesting the Minister for Education to appear before the House and respond to the two bigoted publications in the issue.”
“The text of my urgent question is as follows: To ask the Honourable Minister responsible for Education whether the publications titled: History of Ghana, Text Book 3 by Badu Nkansah Publications authored by Badu Nkansah and Nelly Martinson Anim and Golden English Basic 4 authored by Okyere Baafi Alexander both of which contain bigoted content targeted at the Ewe ethnic group have come to his Ministry’s attention; were they approved by any of his Ministry’s agencies and what steps Government is taking to purge our schools and bookshops from offensive, divisive and incendiary publications of this nature?”
Speaking to the media after filing the urgent question, Mr Ablakwa noted “it is also important for me to stress that my urgent question is also to rechannel the anger into peaceful democratic processes to resolve this matter. and I must stress that point because you saw angry youth threatening to burn down the books. Some were looking for the publishers and all. I want to use this medium to ask them to calm down.”