The former Director-General of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) has urged Parliament to revise the Education Act 2008, ACT 778 to address the recent challenges recorded in the education sector.
According to Prince Armah in an interview with JoyNews, NaCCA should be given the authority to sanction publishers who breach the framework of the Act.
“Parliament might have to legislate and give that enforcement powers to NaCCA to be able to sanction publishers for violating specific provisions on the Act that empowers them to do the approval,” he said.
His comment follows several criticisms against NaCCA for allowing some textbooks described by many as “bigotry and offensive” for use by pupils in some primary schools.
The textbooks ‘History of Ghana’ and ‘Golden English’ authored by Badu Nkansah and Okyere Baafi Alexander respectively are said to contain pieces of information that speak against the Ewe ethnic group.
The Member of Parliament for Kwesimintsim indicated that the Council’s regulatory regime is porous, emboldening some publishers to disregard the law and put sub-standard teaching materials for schools.
He told JoyNews that “there are no enforcement powers of NaCCA to say that ‘I’m going to market to do market surveillance and then confiscate books that have not been approved.”
“And when you confiscate them what are you going to do? Burn them? You don’t have that legal mandate,” he added.
Further to this, Mr Armah urged that the Act governing the National School Inspectorate Authority should be looked at to include making the Authority an enforcer in the education sector.
He, however, warned that owing to the influence and resource that publishers have in the country, this new regulation should be done in accordance with the law so as not to engender any unwanted backlash from them.
“You know these publishers are not ordinary people. They are very powerful people, very influential; they have the resources. If they could take the whole government on in 2005 or thereabout, then you can imagine the strength that they have if you do not act well within the confines of the law,” he stated.
According to him, although NaCCA is the sole regulatory institution within the education sector mandated to review the quality and quantity of textbooks and any other teaching materials of education, the Authority is lacking in many ways.