The revelation that teachers in our public schools are rejecting some text books published and distributed for use in conformity with the new educational syllabi must be treated with the degree of seriousness it deserves.
The old English adage that, “There is no smoke without fire” goes to justify the complaints from the local publishers to the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) and the Ministry of General Education sometime last year, 2015, over the corrupt manner in which the tendering process for publishing of books for use in schools was done. It is sad to note that despite several appeals by our local publishers for consideration to print these text books, it was all in vain.
The text books bereft of the requisite contents to match the new syllabi bears testimony to the painful and hard-to-stomach result of corruption that we now have to grapple with in our education sector. This is exactly what Jesus in the Bible proverbially referred to when he gave counsel in the story between the wise and foolish builders. He said, “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Matthew 7:26)
We are left to wonder as to why the CDC, an institution responsible to provide the necessary scrutiny and recommendations of the right learning and teaching materials could have abdicated such a task.
Assertions by the Ministry of General Education spokesperson that the ministry is not aware of the complaints put forward by the teachers over the unsuitable learning materials begs the question: If the concerns have been raised among the teachers, District Education Board Secretaries, Teachers’ Unions and Ministry of General Education officials, how tenable can it be that his office is pleading ignorance?
It is plain truth that these complaints have been aired out by teachers and stakeholders at different fora, but it is the usual lackadaisical and casual approach taken by relevant authorities to address such very important issues.
In the revised school syllabi, two career path ways were devised for the secondary school and new topics added to almost all subjects. However, it is shocking to read some of the published books. Does CDC employ the services of qualified personnel to author these books?
It is needless to mention that most of the developed nations of the world that we know of today reached that status chiefly on account of having invested heavily in and attached great importance to the education of its people. And we hold a firm belief that such a feat was attained because a high premium was placed on this mainstay sector to achieve the set objectives.
We say this because the quality of education for our children is something that must be given first priority by the relevant ministry and all the stakeholders in this noble field. It must be borne in mind that an educated citizenry forms a solid basis for national development.
We implore the teachers to report such inefficient public officials in the Ministry of General Education to the Public Protector’s office for failing to deliver to the expectation of the public. It is uncouth to allow a handful of individuals to compromise the education of our children.