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GNAT calls for investigations into source of unapproved textbooks

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
One of the unapproved textbooks
One of the unapproved textbooks

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has called for swift investigations into how unapproved textbooks with inappropriate content found their way into schools in the country.

The association has also entreated the National Security to get to the bottom of the matter, since the source of distribution of the books was yet to be ascertained.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the General Secretary of the GNAT, Mr. Thomas Musah, said once the source of the unapproved books was identified, sanctions should be applied to serve as deterrent to others.

He said putting out such inappropriate content and misinformation was disturbing, since it could affect national cohesion.

“That is why we are saying that thorough investigations must be done because, according to information I have, the seal and the number of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) are on the books, although NaCCA said it had not approved them.

“That is why thorough investigations must be carried out because the publisher is also saying that it did not know how the books got out,” Mr. Musah said.  

According to him, “the outcome of the investigations should be made public for the sake of transparency and accountability to the people”.

 “Sanctions must certainly apply. Duty bearers are supposed to be doing their work effectively; it should not be business as usual,” he added.

NaCCA statement

The NaCCA, in a statement signed by its acting Director, Mr. John Mensah Anang, and issued last Monday, said those textbooks had not been approved for use in schools.

The books are History of Ghana for Basic 6 by Golden Publications, which contains distasteful information on the first President of the country, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and his party, the Convention People’s Party (CPP); History of Ghana Textbook 3 by Badu Nkansah Publications, which features “A song that shows the Ewe identity”, and Golden English Basic 4 by Golden Publications, which displays “Efo agrees to prepare juju for the players” on page 17.

In each of the books, the authors are said to have made inappropriate references to personalities and ethnic groups which are deemed unfortunate, distasteful and in contradiction of NaCCA's Book Submission Guidelines and Approval Methodology which guides the work of publishers and authors.

In relation to Golden Publications, the statement said NaCCA had met with the leadership of the publishing house and asked them to withdraw all the “unapproved offending books” and any other from the market and submit copies for assessment.

That, it said, the publishing house had complied with, adding that the publisher was also asked to issue an unequivocal apology through electronic, print and social media outlets.

Apology

The publishers of History of Ghana Textbook 3, Badu Nkansah Publications, has already rendered an apology for the content of the book.

A statement issued by the publishing house explained that the book, which was submitted to NaCCA for assessment, had not been approved due to some concerns raised by the council.

"Unfortunately, while undergoing the review, a limited quantity of the unpublished draft found its way onto the market,” it claimed.