National Book Publishers question the content of Smart School Tablets

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President of the Ghana National Association of Authors and Publishers, John Amponsah, has raised concerns over the government’s approach to supplying tablets to students in second-cycle institutions, citing a lack of comprehensive content.

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday 26th March, launched the Smart Schools Project with about 1.3 million students set to receive one tablet each containing all their course materials, textbooks, and past questions.

An initiative of the Ministry of Education with support from the Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schools (CEN­DELOS), the project is designed to facilitate learning while equipping students in the country with the requisite technological skills and know-how.

In an interview with Kojo Marfo on Abusua Nkommo at Abusua 96.5 FM, Amponsah questioned the content of the tablets that are supposed to substitute the conventional hard copy textbooks.

He found it curious how the Ghana Education Service could produce and upload comprehensive content on tablets just two weeks after a new curriculum was released by the National Council for Curriculum & Assessment.

“Just last two weeks, NACCA released the curriculum, so how did they manage to upload the new content onto the tablets,” he asked.

Mr John Amponsah contended that the content on the tablets supplied to students was not comprehensive and could not align with the curriculum insisting that publishers and writers create educational materials based on the curriculum provided.

“I can prove when given the tablets that the content is not comprehensive, look, if you go to KNUST, the Creatives Art Industry Lecturers were part of those who wrote the curriculum.

“Ask them if any attempt has been made to convert that into a learnable book. Nothing of a sort has been done so where are they getting the notes,” he quizzed.

He made references to the launch of the first phase of the smart education initiative in Accra, where he noticed discrepancies between the content and the curriculum, citing similarities to American content.

“When they first launched the first smart education, I was at the program in Accra, the content was not in conformity with curriculum, they copied ABC Mouse (American Content),” he stated.

Future Outlook and Call to Action

Mr Amponsah gave commendation for the initiative but highlighted the dangers it posed to the work of publishers especially when they were not consulted in coming up with the content of the electronic learning devices.

He found nothing wrong with the government choosing to contact subject book writers over complaints most publishers failed to meet specifications and timelines for the common core program at the basic school level.

The president urged his members to remain calm and concentrate on creating educational materials diligently in anticipation of a policy change or a regime that will act more favourably toward publishers.

Source: Ghanaweb

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