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Primary 4 History textbook sparks uproar

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A textbook believed to be approved by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) for use by primary school students has sparked outrage among the public. 

Ghanaians, especially parents are displeased over some claims in the book, which have been described as inaccurate. 

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In the book entitled History of Ghana for Basic Schools, authored by Francis Benjamin Appiah and Henry David Appiah, some negative impacts of Christianity have been highlighted. 

The points listed include claims that Christianity has led to an increase in poverty in Ghana. Additionally, the book states that Religion is a major cause of physical conflict and doctrinal disputes in Ghana and the world as a whole.

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The book also states that: “Christianity has led to an increase in poverty. There’s a direct link between religion and laziness which contributes to poverty in Ghana and Africa as a whole; Religion makes people lackadaisical in their attitude towards finding practical ways to improve their undesirable living conditions; Some religious doctrines brought by missionaries create a sense of fear or timidity in their adherence.”

Also, it states that: “Religion creates an avenue for many tricksters or charlatans to parade as men of God to please the poor with their meager resources; Most religious groups discriminate against women in so many ways; Many politicians in Ghana use religion as a vehicle to cause disaffection amongst people in a bid to advance their political interest.”

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Experts from Eduwatch and the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) have raised concerns about the book’s approval by NaCCA.

Eduwatch’s Programmes Director, Divine Kpe opined that the section of the book in question may have been inserted to enable students generate ideas for debate on the effect of European missionaries in Ghana.

“When you look at the basic 4 curriculum for Religious and Moral Education, that particular objective for which the authors are writing is about the pupils debating the effect of Christian missionaries or European missionaries in Ghana, some of their effects. 

“So it’s actually expected to be a debate that the pupils were to have. In doing so, I think the authors were trying to generate ideas that the people can raise in terms of their debate,” he said on the JoyNews channel.

He, however, contended that there were inaccuracies in some of the points, which breached some standard NaCCA guidelines given to publishers who submit their books for validation. This includes the criteria of accuracy, currency of the content matter, and relevance of the content to the curriculum.

Speaking on the same show, a Deputy Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Yaw Opoku Mensah clarified that the book in question was not the official one approved by the NaCCA.

He said that the approved version, according to NaCCA, does not contain that section in question. 

However, another panelist on the show, Executive Director of IFEST, Dr Peter Anti called for the publishers of the said book to be blacklisted. 

“There is a published document of about 66 pages that lists all the books that have been approved by NaCCA and this document is there. It’s on page 56, so this book is approved,” he stressed.

He also said appropriate punishment  should be meted out to the publishers if, indeed, the book in circulation on the market was not the one that had been approved by NaCCA.


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