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Textbook approval: NaCCA rejects bias claims, ready to address concerns with publishers, Parliament

Prof Edward Appiah, executive director of NaCCA

The executive director of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Prof Edward Appiah has firmly rejected claims of bias and favouritism in the agency’s textbook approval process.

This comes in response to calls from the Ghana Publishers Association (GPA) to strip NaCCA of its role in book assessment and approval. The issue has caught the attention of the parliamentary select committee on education which is proposing a round-table discussion with feuding stakeholders.

Speaking at the launch of new teacher manuals for the secondary school curriculum on Tuesday (21 May), the NaCCA boss described such claims as erroneous.

He said his outfit is ready to meet Parliament’s education committee to resolve all outstanding issues.

“I was expecting them [GPA] to speak with the Ministry”, Prof Appiah said. “I am told they want to meet Parliament and so when we get there, we will deal with all the issues”.

“NaCCA doesn’t develop textbooks. Our mandate is to review and approve textbooks. Anybody capable of writing textbooks for our pre-tertiary and it comes to our outfit we will assess and approve so long as it fits into our curriculum.”

“If it doesn’t, we will direct you to take it back and work on it and that is what we are struggling with because we have to keep correcting this and ensure that we don’t repeat the objective base approach in the standard base”, he further clarified.

The launch of the teacher manuals forms part of NaCCA’s rollout of the Departmental Professional Learning Communities (DPLC) programme following the development of a 3-year Senior High Schools/Senior High Technical Schools (SHTS) curriculum in line with the National Pre-Tertiary Education Curriculum Framework and the National Teachers Standards.

The teacher manuals contain all the content, pedagogy, and assessment information needed by teachers to plan and deliver their lessons in the new Senior High School (SHS), Senior High Technical School (SHTS), and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

“I am not discounting the purpose of textbooks but if you understand this standard-based curriculum and you are a very strong professional teacher you won’t need textbooks because everything you need is in the manuals and the resource packs that have been provided”, Prof. Appiah said while explaining the key role of teachers in the implementation of the new curriculum.

Ghana is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to successfully introduce its curriculum focusing on its national values.

Education NGO, Transforming Teaching and Learning (T-TEL) is funding the ambitious project through the MasterCard Foundation.

Reporting By Jonathan Ofori, Ashanti Region

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