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Christianity has worsened poverty in Ghana, according to a controversial primary four textbook

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Christianity has worsened poverty in Ghana, according to a controversial primary four textbook

A portion of a history textbook for students in grades 4 has drawn criticism after some Christian parents voiced their worries. A section of the book History of Ghana for Basic Schools, written by Frnacis Benjamin Appiah and Henry David Appiah, highlights the unfavorable repercussions of Christian missionary operations.

The book makes several assertions, one of which is that Ghana’s poverty has increased as a result of Christianity. The book continues by blaming religion for the doctrinal and physical conflicts in Ghana. The book was approved by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), but the contents have alarmed some parents and sparked a discussion about how Christianity and religion in general are portrayed in it.

Concerns about such a book being accepted by the NaCCA, the organization in charge of approving curricula, have also been expressed by some civil society organizations in the education sector, including Eduwatch and the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST). The aim of that segment, according to Divine Kpe, the director of programs at Eduwatch, is to prepare young people to critically evaluate the impact of European missionaries in Ghana.

“If you look at the basic 4 curriculum for Religious and Moral Education, that specific purpose for which the authors are writing to the readers is about the students arguing the impact of Christian or European missionaries in Ghana, as well as some of their consequences.

“So, the students were genuinely supposed to have a debate. On Thursday, May 25, 2023, he appeared on Accra-based television station JoyNews to make the following statement: “I believe the authors were attempting to generate ideas that the people can raise in terms of their debate.”

However, the director said that some of the statements were inaccurate. Additionally, Mr. Kpe claimed that the errors were against several normative NaCCA rules that are provided to publishers who submit their books for validation. This comprises the standards for correctness, currentness of the subject matter, and curriculum-relevance.

He criticized the authors for producing a poor product and accused the NaCCA of failing to carry out its duty to permit the books to be sold. Yaw Opoku Mensah, Deputy Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, stated on the same platform that the disputed book was not the official one recognized by the NaCCA.

According to information provided to him by the NaCCA, he claimed that the version of the book that had been approved did not contain the disputed part. However, Dr. Peter Anti, the Executive Director of IFEST, stated that NaCCA had authorized the disputed book.

“This paper is included in a public document of approximately 66 pages that details all the books that have received NaCCA approval. This book is acceptable because it appears on page 56,” he insisted.

If, in fact, the book that is currently on the market was not the one that had been approved by them, Dr. Anti said, the publishers should be put on a blacklist by the NaCCA and given the proper penalties.

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