A Member of the Education Committee of Parliament, Dr Clement Apaak has condemned the government for failing to deliver the full complement of textbooks to public schools after four years of the introduction of a new curriculum.
According to him, checks by the committee prove that no school in the country has all the textbooks introduced in the new curriculum.
“No public basic school in the Republic of Ghana has the full complement of textbooks produced on the back of the new school curriculum that was unveiled in 2019,” he said on Monday.
His comments come on the back of a visit by the Quality Assurance Committee of parliament to schools to assess the availability of textbooks following a promise by the Education Minister that the distribution of textbooks was going to happen.
Speaking on Newsnight on Joy FM, Dr Apaak insisted that no school has the full compliment of the new textbooks.
This was in spite of the fact that, the host of the show, Evans Mensah referenced a headteacher in Cape Coast who had told the Quality Assurance Committee that they had the full compliment of their textbooks.
He retorted, “I doubt, I have my doubt and I say so because the Ranking Member of the committee just told me that the list that was given was generated by the ministry. That in itself defeats the motive for the exercise,” he argued.
He continued that “I am also quite curious that rather than spreading it out and perhaps rather than let the committee go to the less endowed part of this country; in this case, the five regions in the Northern part of this country, they have chosen places that we know are better endowed.”
The Builsa South MP blames the government’s inability to pay publishers and distributors for the books produced so far for the delay.
He added that the cap on GETfund makes it difficult to generate the needed revenue to undertake such projects, consequently resulting in a halt in the production and distribution of the books until the printers are paid for the services rendered.
Responding to the questions on what the Education Committee plans to do, he said the committee has consistently written to the Education Minister, yet very little has been done about the situation.
He, therefore, called on parents and teachers in particularly to demand better accountability.
“We must now call on teachers and parents to rise up and call the government out for failing to fulfill its obligations to the good people of this country.”
“It is not right, it is not acceptable that four years down the line after the introduction of a new curriculum, teachers and headmasters and schools are still crying over lack of adequate textbooks,” he said.
In July,2022, a Deputy Minister of Education, Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, announced that the distribution of textbooks to all basic schools in the country was ongoing.
He explained that with the current state of affairs, if all the printers comply with the timelines assigned to them, all regions and districts in the country would have their books in few weeks.