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Public calls for withdrawal of book on citizenship education

31 March 2009 | Education

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has been asked to withdraw or make an addendum to the “Citizenship Education Primary 5 Pupil's Book” due to some factual inaccuracies and omissions regarding the late Dr Esther Ocloo and Dr Ephraim Amu both of Peki.

The Book was authored by C. Otu, Professor S. M. Quartey and J. Skelt, and published by UNIMAX MACMILLAN.

On page 52 of the book, Dr Esther Ocloo was said to be a Krobo, while it omitted where Dr Amu came from.

Pages 51 and 52, headed “Sustaining the nation” featured personalities such as George Ekem Ferguson said to be from Anomabo, Prempeh I as Asante King, Dr J. E. K. Aggrey from Anomabu, and Hawa Yakubu from Bawku.

These came to the notice of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) while going through the book, prompting a follow-up to the families of the two personalities in Peki Dzake and Peki-Avetile respectively to ascertain the facts.

When the GNA called at the residence of Dr Amu at Peki-Avetile, the gates were shut and a family member in the neighbourhood said those who could comment on the issue were out of town.

In Peki-Dzake, however Madam Salome Nkulenu, 70, who said she was a cousin to the late Dr Esther Ocloo, told the GNA that her cousin was called Esther Nkulenu prior to being married to one Mr Ocloo also from the Volta Region.

“Her tomb is right here near the clinic, how could Esther be a Krobo, I could never imagine that”, Madam Salome Nkulenu said looking over her spectacles and pointing in a direction.

Salome said Esther's mother came from the Dzigbedome Clan of Peki Dzake while her father came from the Danorkpedzi clan also from Peki-Dzake.

Togbe Kpanga Hanu I of Peki-Dzake also told the GNA that the late Dr Esther Ocloo was a true daughter of Peki-Dzake, where she was born and bred and also had her basic education before going on to Achimota School and overseas.

He drew the GNA's attention to a portrait of Dr Esther Ocloo on a wall in his palace, which said she was the first Woman industrialist in Ghana and the founder and first President of the Association of Ghana Industries.

Togbe Kpanga Hanu said the errors and omissions about the two personalities showed that the facts about them were either not cross-checked or the authors deliberately distorted the facts, and that the book should be withdrawn.

Mr Kwame Asare Mensah of the Nkulenu family said the authors and publishers of the book and the GES deserved to be sued by the Nkulenu and Amu families for “embarrassing them”.

A reliable source at the Volta Regional Directorate of the GES said normally, manuscripts on textbooks should have been given to the GES for proof reading and corrections before publishing.

He said textbooks were sent directly to the district directorates of the GES for distribution to schools and without giving the regional directorates samples to read first to ascertain the information in them.

“We will draw the attention of the Curriculum Research and Development Division (CRDD) to this,” the source said.

A Deputy Director of Education at the South-Dayi district directorate of the GES commended the GNA for drawing attention to the inaccuracies and omissions, and hoped others would take pains to scrutinize the contents of text books and draw the attention of the GES to any wrong information in them.

The Head teacher of one of the Basic Schools in Peki-Dzake said 18 copies of the book were supplied to the school last week, but they did not notice the inaccuracies.

“This is a grievous mistake”.
“We will correct the mistake here but what about those in other parts of the country,” the head teacher asked.

Others however said the inaccuracies and omissions were unpardonable and 'amounted to a slight of their origins' as the two personalities about whom very few Ghanaians could plead ignorance, were the pride of the Volta Region.

The cover of the book has a green background with three stars of unequal sizes above the title “PUPIL'S BOOK Citizenship Education”. Below the inscription were three pupils, a globe and three stars in green, yellow and red respectively, and the Ghana flag with a white flying pigeon holding a green twig in its beak.

It has the UNIMAX MACMILLAN Logo and the national colours of red, yellow and green with the black star and identified as “Ghana Government Property strictly not for sale”


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