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UPDATED: False: NaCCA has not approved Golden Publication’s English for Basic 4, and other controversial textbooks for distribution or use

5 mins read This report has been updated to include new information on other textbooks, History of Ghana textbook 3 by Badu Nkansah Publication and History for Basic 6 by Golden publications, which according to NaCCA are also unapproved.

5 mins read

NaCCA has approved textbooks fostering association of Ewes with the use of juju and denigrating some tribes in Ghana

False. NaCCA has not approved the Golden English or Basic 4 textbook and some other Golden Publication books.

Full Text

Some Twitter users have been discussing an alleged text book that is said to have been approved by Ghana Education Service (GES) and National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) for teaching Basic school pupils.  

A portion of the book, as shown below, is said to be promoting the association and stereotype of Ewes to the use of juju.

Image source: Twitter

The book, published by Golden Publications for Basic 4 English, is written by Alexander Baafi Okyere and has a stamp claiming approval from the NaCCA for use for the new syllabus.

Image source: Twitter

The post has drawn the attention of many people who have called for the removal of the book from the syllabus .

Image source: Twitter

The news, containing the image has been recirculated and published on some online platforms

Ghanaian celebrity Ayigbe Edem has called-out the book’s author, asking for the book to be revised.

“Okyere Baafi….It would be good to put respect on my people and revise your book….All narratives like this, make us deepen the crack on issues surrounding us….#Gbevunation #Gogetem.”

Some other textbooks, History of Ghana textbook 3 by Badu Nkansah Publication and History for Basic 6 by Golden publications, have also come into the limelight with many people including Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Member of Parliament for Ketu South, calling out the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and the NaCCA.

“…As a proud Ewe, I would never see myself in the light you seek to portray me in with these warped and extremely insensitive descriptions. This is the height of “racist” comments meant to look down and denigrate a hardworking, friendly and affable group of people. Perhaps you have gone this far because we have tolerated this absolutely foolish condescending and totally unacceptable behaviour from some Ghanaians and now you have the effrontery and audacity to publish it. It is no more funny…”

Image source: Facebook

Dubawa set out to find out if this book is a part of the approved books for the new syllabus.

Verification

According to officials at the Basic Unit of the Ghana Education Service, the textbook in question is not part of the list of recommended textbooks released by the Service.

The NaCCA on 14 May, 2020 released the first batch of recommended textbooks for Kindergarten to Basic 6. This batch listed 187 textbooks that passed assessment for use for Kindergarten to Basic 6 pupils.

A few days later, on 18 May 2020, a second batch, comprising 96 recommended textbooks were also released.

The third batch, released June 11th, 2020 also contains 202 recommended textbooks.

Dubawa assessed all three released lists and found that the book in question, Golden English for Basic 4, was not listed among the recommended books.

Mr. John Anang, Acting Director General, NaCCA, disclosed that the book in question, Golden English for Basic 4 and some others have not been approved by NaCCA. 

He went on to clarify that the textbooks that have been published are not recommended, as stated in the official letters attached to the list of textbooks, but rather, approved by NaCCA.

“Our mandate is not to recommend but to assess and approve books based on the intended curriculum to see whether it is in sync with the letter and spirit of what the curriculum intends to achieve.”

He added that once the book is not in the three batches of textbooks approved and published by NaCCA, it has not been submitted to the institution for approval.

“By our provisions and guidelines, nobody is supposed to put on their textbook or whatever that it has been approved by NaCCa. Nobody is supposed to do that. We have not even seen it. There is a similar issue with another History book which with the help of Facebook, we were able to identify them and invite them for a meeting and they came… What happened is that these people, once the new syllabus was released, commissioned writers, when they got the books, they started catching up with the September market,  forgetting that they must go through NaCCA before hitting the market.”

A press release was issued on March 6th, 2021 on the NaCCA Facebook page cautioning parents against the purchase and use of unapproved textbooks. The press release mentioned History textbook for Basic 6 pupils from the same publishers, Golden publications, being unapproved for use or distribution.

Image source: NaCCA Facebook page

Today, March 15th, 2021, the NaCCA has published a sequel to their March 6th press release stating that the three textbooks making rounds on social media have not been approved by the institution:

  • History of Ghana for Basic 6 (Golden Publications)
  • History of Ghana Textbook 3 (Badu Nkansah Publications)
  • Golden English Basic 4 (Golden Publications)
Image source: NaCCA Facebook Page

As NaCCA is not mandated to arrest publishers of these books which have infiltrated the market, it has cautioned them through the use of dialogue that all their materials should be brought to the institution for assessment and possible approval. 

Mr. Anang added that they have advised the publishers of the controversial textbook to apologize to Ghanaians on radio and newspapers.

Meanwhile Badu Nkansah Publication has issued an apology to the public for the ‘offensive publication’.

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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