Assurance Committee unhappy with Education Ministry over textbooks distribution
This came to light when a delegation of the Committee, led by its Chairperson, Madam Patricia Appiagyei, and the Ranking Member, Mr John Kwabena Bless Oti, paid a two-day working visit to some selected public basic schools in the region.
It was to find out whether the Education Minister had fulfilled an assurance made in 2022 that textbooks had been supplied to all public basic schools in the region, under the One-Child-One-Textbook Policy of the Government.
The schools visited were the Islamic Research Basic School at Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East Municipality, the Osubonpanyin Ateitu MA Basic School at Winneba in the Efutu Municipality, Pomadze-Asebu D/A “B” Model Basic in the Gomoa Central District, and the Swedru Salvation Army School for the Deaf in the Agona West District.
The others are Apewosika M/A Basic School, Cape Coast, Kuful M/A Primary School in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem Municipality, and the Ghana Education Service (GES) Regional Depot in Cape Coast.
During the Committee’s interactions with the district/municipal directors of education, headteachers, teachers and pupils, it was realised that junior high schools (JHSs) were yet to receive their textbooks, while primary schools did not have the full complements of most of the textbooks.
Madam Rahinatu Iddrisu, the Headteacher, Islamic Research Basic School, informed the Committee that the school had received some of the textbooks, however, because the quantity was not enough, the students had to pair in using them and teachers could not allow the pupils to take them home for their assignments.
She said the textbooks, supplied on the Standard-Based Curriculum, included English Language – class four to six, Science – class one to six, Creative Art – class one to three, and Mathematics – class one to five.
At Regional Depot in Cape Coast, Mr Patrick Awotwe, the Supply Officer, Central Regional Education Directorate, told the Committee that some books were still in the stores awaiting collection by the district/municipal education directorates.
He noted that they were yet to receive full complements of all the books for distribution.
Most district/municipal directors the Committee interacted with said they were facing challenges in transporting the books from Cape Coast to the district capitals for distribution to the various schools.
Speaking to the media at the end of the two-day tour at Anomabo in the Central Region, Mrs Appiagyei, the Chairperson of the Committee, said though some textbooks had been provided under the One-Child-One-Textbook Policy, some clarifications were needed to know where the handicap was.
“So, we will have to revert and find out exactly what has happened, because when we went to the Depot, you could see some books were available,” she said.
She said they asked a number of questions as to why the books were still there and answers were provided alright but still the distribution system was challenging.
“We need to determine whether the entire books have been printed for distribution or they are yet to print more to be able to reach the numbers that is expected in the country”.
“…We are not happy, but the only thing is there should be some clarifications”.
Mr Bless Oti, on his part, said the tour revealed that most of the schools were yet to receive all the textbooks, especially those in the rural areas.
“If this is Cape Coast, the Regional Capital, then what happens to the rural areas?” he queried.