Teacher unions must strike over a lack of textbooks in order for the government to act – MP

Apaak Clemento.png Dr Clement Apaak, MP for Builsa South

Tue, 6 Jun 2023 Source: rainbowradioonline.com

A Deputy Ranking Member of the Education Committee of Parliament, Dr. Clement Apaak, has averred it is only under an incompetent and irresponsible that heads of schools will cry over textbooks four years after the introduction of a new curriculum.

As a result, he has asked all Ghanaian teacher unions to lay down their tools immediately in protest of the lack of textbooks for our primary schools.

"It is clear that basic education faces a challenge. I would encourage teacher unions to take a stand as well. I believe that if they stand up and tell their members to withdraw their services in protest of the government's failure to provide the full complement of textbooks for basic schools based on the curriculum, the government will find the resources to pay the printers and publishers to make the books available."

The Builsa South MP says aside from this challenge, the heads of the schools are grappling with the lack of capitation grants for the six terms as well as acute furniture deficit.

He was responding to calls made by district directors of education and head teachers of some basic schools in the Central Region to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure the supply of the full complement of textbooks to basic schools.

The current shortage of textbooks, particularly for English Language, Core Mathematics, and Science, they claimed, was impeding effective teaching and learning under the new standard-based curricula.

Last Thursday and Friday, a 20-member Parliamentary Government Assurance Committee conducted a verification visit to some selected primary schools in the Central Region.

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, responded quickly, saying there were enough textbooks and copies for all regions and that the ministry was working with Regional Heads of Stores to correct the deficit.

But Dr. Apaak says the government has shown no commitment to providing textbooks for the schools to aid teaching and learning.

Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5fm with host Kwabena Agyapong, he said Ghanaians must express their outrage at the government.

What is happening, according to Dr. Apaak, is not surprising. Those who have followed the education debate are not surprised. The Akufo-Addo and Bawumia governments have demonstrated their commitment to implementing policies that have the potential to transform people's lives. When you took office, you implemented the standard base curriculum in September 2019, but basic school students numbering over 3 million are still without textbooks to study and learn".

He stated that because the government has not paid the printers and publishers for the work they have already completed, they have refused to print the remaining books. Several of them applied for loans to fund their publications, but the government let them down."

He urged parents and Ghanaians to hold the government accountable, particularly when funds were allocated for the construction of a cathedral that was not part of the national budget and schools lacked textbooks and printers were not paid.

"It is clear that this government has decided to collapse the public basic school system. We need to call them out on it. You cannot claim to be improving secondary and tertiary education while ignoring the foundation, which is primary school. Many parents cannot afford private elementary schools, which is why public elementary schools must function properly. But this is not the case. The basic sector is no longer appealing."

Source: rainbowradioonline.com
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