On the 8th of September, 2021, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) held a meeting with seven private school associations at its premises. The purpose was to discuss and deliberate on pertinent issues regarding the purchase and use of textbooks, in support of the Standards-Based Curriculum (SBC). In his welcome address, the Acting Director-General for NaCCA, Mr John Mensah Anang thanked representatives of the associations for availing themselves of such an important exercise that bothered on the nature of textbooks used in schools and its impact on learning outcomes. The Acting Director-General made the point that upon the introduction of the SBC in September 2019, the Council has since March, 2020 approved over 1,200 books in all the SBC learning areas.
On the part of the private school associations, they enquired from the Council on the textbook assessment and approval process. Representatives present were taken through the five main stages of the textbook approval process. It was brought to their attention that NaCCA as an institution per its mandate does not engage in the production of textbooks, but assesses and approves textbooks developed by publishers for use by learners and teachers at the pre-tertiary level.
Furthermore, pertinent discussions were held as to how the Council and private school associations could collaborate better to curb the use of unapproved textbooks in the school system. Suggestions put forward by the associations’ representatives have been duly noted by the Council for appropriate measures to be taken on them.
In his closing remarks, the Acting Director-General bemoaned a situation where some private schools have started using the Common Core Programme (CCP) curriculum for instructions, which is yet to be rolled out progressively next academic year – 2021/2022. He admonished the associations to sensitise their members to desist from the practice, as it creates unintended problems for the country’s school system and policymakers who man it. He reiterated that NaCCA’s doors are always open to private school associations, as they remain important stakeholders in improving learning outcomes in our school system.