The days of having unapproved textbooks on the market are over as National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) will soon introduce a shortcode to check this.
The code will allow parents and schools who want to buy textbooks for their wards or schools to check whether it has been approved for the market for general consumption.
This initiative is part of measures by the Council to check the ‘unwholesome’ textbooks in the system.
“What we want to do is to avoid a situation where we have unapproved textbooks in the system,” the Executive Secretary of the Council, Dr Prince H. Armah said at a recent meeting with the media.
According to him, NaCCA wants to “ensure that we can vouch for the quality and content of textbooks and especially illustrations in the materials.”
“Government will not buy any textbook or supplementary material from anybody if that book or that material has not been approved by NaCCA. There are others who decide to circumvent due process for their own benefit at the expense of national interest,” he added.
In April 2016, the Education Ministry was involved in a controversy after a textbook depicting the head as a part of the human body used for carrying load surfaced.
The “Natural Science for Primary Schools – Pupil’s Book 1,” authored by Albert Joseph Quarm stated that the human head is used for carrying loads, an illustration that has been heavily criticized by many.
But the Ministry said the Ghana Education Service had not approved the material for primary schools in the country.
VIAM Africa further blamed the errors in the textbook on Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Education Ministry’s weak content validation systems for textbooks in Ghana's schools.
In what appears to be a swift response to the VIAM Africa criticism, the Education Ministry said the book is not an approved textbook for use in schools across the country.
In order to curb such situations, Dr Armah said they are working to make clean up the process and one of the ways they have adopted is publishing the list of approved and unapproved books on the NaCCA website.
The Executive Secretary said because a lot of people do not have access to the internet, they made it more accessible to users by developing a shortcode.
Regarding private schools, Dr Armah said “discussions have been fruitful so far” when it comes to regulating the influx of textbooks in the system.