The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), which is responsible for developing and approving school curricula in Ghana, has distanced itself from a history textbook that has sparked outrage for its derogatory portrayal of Christianity.
The textbook, titled “History of Ghana” and published by Excellence Publications, is meant for primary four pupils. However, it has been widely criticized for containing offensive and inaccurate content about the Christian faith.
The Director General of NaCCA, Professor Edward Appiah, told Citi TV’s Point of View programme that the textbook was not among the books that the Ministry of Education bought for the Ghana Education Service (GES) to distribute to basic schools across the country.
He also said that NaCCA had assessed the original version of the book and had not seen or approved the controversial parts of the book that have caused public uproar.
“This textbook that has created controversy, I’m not disputing that NaCCA has not approved some of the publisher’s books before. He has a series of textbooks, and we wanted to see those versions, so then we can make our firm decisions,” he said.
“We did our assessment report on this book, so I’m surprised, and I need to see the version on the market, then I can make a firm decision. The controversial textbook was not part of the textbooks the Ministry of Education procured for GES.”
Professor Appiah expressed concern over the proliferation of unapproved textbooks on the market that deceive parents and school children with false claims of being based on NaCCA or GES syllabus.
“Most of the textbooks out there are not approved, the publishers lie about the textbooks. Some of the books say based on NaCCA or GES syllabus but are not NaCCA approved. These are some of the marketing gimmicks publishers use and people say oh NaCCA approved,” he said.
He added that NaCCA’s mandate does not extend to regulating the market where publishers sell their books without approval.
“Our mandate does not go beyond the market where somebody is selling his books. We cannot say you don’t need to sell because they are not approved, we can’t do that because of this free market enterprise, we are operating. And so we need to be careful,” he said.
On May 25, NaCCA issued a statement demanding the immediate recall of the history book from the market.
The Ghana National Association of Authors and Publishers also apologized to NaCCA, the Ministry of Education, and the public on May 29 for publishing the book.