The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) has said it has developed a Teacher Resource Pack for all public school teachers from Kindergarten to Primary Six to be used as a teaching guide while awaiting the approved textbooks.
So far, 165,000 of the packs have been distributed to all district education directorates for onward distribution to all teachers by the beginning of the academic year, which is next week.
This follows complaints from the public that the GES is rolling out the new curriculum without the corresponding textbooks.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Executive Secretary of NaCCA, Dr Prince Armah, explained that the council had developed the pack based on past experiences when the curricular was changed and there was nothing for teachers to rely on.
“We decided to add an instructional resource to the curriculum, so that we do not allow teachers to go back to use the old materials, and that is why we developed what is called the Teacher Resource Pack.
“This teacher resource pack contains the areas in the curriculum framework which teachers will need but may not have time to go back to the curriculum framework,” he explained.
He said the regional offices had already received the pack and forwarded them to the district directorates of the GES, which would in turn forward them to the various head teachers to be distributed to their teachers, saying: “Every single teacher is entitled to one.”
On the absence of textbooks, Dr Armah explained that it was not a new phenomenon, noting that the current managers of education foresaw the challenge and developed the pack.
“We have a history in this country where curriculum had been developed but there were no associated textbooks. There had never been an occasion when a new curriculum came with textbooks,” he said.
Taking the Daily Graphic down memory lane, he said during 1987 basic school curriculum reforms, which were premised on the 1974 reforms, the textbooks that came in 1987 were those published in 1974.
“So when the textbooks came a year after 1987, the materials were even 10 years older,” he said, explaining, for instance, that the maths book used at that time: “The Ghana Maths Series”, which was published in 1975 after the 1974 reforms and the 1987 review, were the same maths books submitted for use in the 1988/1989 academic year.
Dr Armah also recalled that from 1998 to 2001 when Ghana underwent the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) reforms, the old textbooks were used, adding that it was only in 2005 that the old books were replaced to reflect the 2001 curriculum review.
He said even though the textbooks at that time did not conform with the new curriculum, they were in use for four years, from 2001 to 2005 before the new textbooks were made available.
“Then in 2007 there was another review. The Prof. Anamuah-Mensah Committee was set up in 2001. It made a number of recommendations and based on those recommendations the curriculum was reviewed in 2007,” he said.
He explained that the existing textbooks were used because there was not too much change in the content.
“In 2019, we have completely changed the curriculum; we have changed the content and the structure. In terms of content, some things have been added and in terms of structure, it has changed completely from an objectivist-based curriculum to a standards-based curriculum,” he said.
Dr Armah added that with the reform, the standards-based curriculum specified what the child should know, understand and be able to do, saying that the emphasis was on the “doing” because that was the highest order of thinking.
“You can know and understand but cannot do it, and when you are doing it, that is where creativity comes in; that is where collaboration comes in and that is where you develop all the essential skills that we are talking about in the new curriculum,” he said, adding that the standards-based concept operated on broad ideas which the children worked towards.
He was of the view that with or without the teacher’s textbook, “this document is enough for starters, so that we do not have to wait for four years, as was the case in 1987, 2001, 2007 and 2010, because in all those instances, they just brought the old textbooks”.