The governing New Patriotic Party has condemned what it refers to as “incompetent and inept material paraded by some publishers as books of instruction for our children.”
According to the NPP, the “distortions of history and bigoted stereotyping of ethnic groups” cannot be the basis upon which the social identity of Ghanaian children is nurtured and established.
In a statement signed by its National Communications Director, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, the party noted that “in our world today, there is no profit to ethnic dominance or subjugation, considering the universal values that globalization imposes on us.”
“Current global values project universal human rights, encompassing respect for all peoples irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, religion, and gender. Economies are being built on digital technology and innovation, creativity and skills development. These are what will drive international competitiveness for Ghana and open opportunities for our young people to master their talents and fulfil their dreams,” the party said.
The statement added: “Whilst we note that the National Council for Curriculum Accreditation (NaCCA) has not approved the publication, the NPP is urging them to refine and enforce their rules without fear or favour. That way, products certified by NaCCA can help bring up well balanced children, imbued with global values and pride in their country and with diverse culture.”
The party urged political and social leaders to speak to the issues with the intention to helping in binding Ghanaians together as one people with one nation and one destiny.
Publishers of some textbooks meant for basic school pupils have been widely condemned over portions of the books said to have denigrated the Ewe ethnic group in Ghana.
Some of the textbooks – History of Ghana, Text Book 3, authored by Badu Nkansah and Nelly Martinson Anim, Golden English Basic 4, authored by Okyere Baafi Alexander, History of Ghana for Basic 6 by Golden Publications – are said to contain bigoted content targeted at Ewes and an attempt to distort Ghana’s history.
According to the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA), three of the text books – “History of Ghana for Basic 6 by Golden Publications, which carries distasteful information about Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP; History of Ghana Textbook 3 by Badu Nkansah Publications, which features a song that shows the Ewes identity; Golden English Basic 4 by Golden Publications, which displays ‘Efo agrees to prepare the juju for the players’ on page 17” – are all unapproved.
No ministerial approval
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has said his ministry has not approved any text book meant for students of Basic Four for the teaching of Oral Language, Reading, Writing and Grammar.
He has therefore described as “untrue” reports in circulation to the effect that the Ghana Education Service (GES) has given the green light for the anti-Ewe book to be used in basic schools across the country, and urged the public to disregard the publication.
“The book is not approved,” Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum said in a media interview.
The Ghana Publishers Association has also apologised to Ghanaians for the “poor work” done on the text books.
The Association has accordingly called for calm, assuring the public of its commitment to applying its internal disciplinary mechanisms to deal with the publisher.
“The Association has been following recent issues in respect of some textbooks published for schools in Ghana. We have observed the History of Ghana – Textbook 3, one such book of the current public concern, and we acknowledge that some aspects of its content are in bad taste,” it said.
A statement signed by the president of the Association, Asare Konadu Yamoah, indicated that over the past few months, his outfit had been working closely with the NaCCA to ensure that the processes for approving the content of textbooks are rigidly enforced.
The Association said it has achieved a lot of successes, and is optimistic that “the situation faced now would not happen again.”
In a related development, the Member of Parliament for Essikado Ketan, Joe Ghartey, has condemned the stereotyping of Voltarians, saying the unity of Ghana is above politics.
Priding himself as “a Voltarian by choice,” he said an end must be put to the stereotyping of Ewes and everyone for that matter.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Ghartey said Voltarians need not be stereotyped for whatsoever reason, stating emphatically that the textbook saga cannot be handled with politics.
He said the first presidential election in Ghana was between Joseph Boakye-Danquah and Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and that Voltarians voted for J.B. Danquah, who is one of the forebears of the NPP.