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JAMB moves to amend portions of ‘immoral textbook’ In Dependence

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Candidates at a post-UME centre

Moved by the public outcry against some recommended textbooks for candidates by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Examination Council (NECO) the board has moved to amend some portions of its book, In Dependence, currently being used for the Use of English Test in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Considered “immoral”.

Already, the examination body has contacted the leadership of the Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) to propose amendments to portions of the book deemed immoral by stakeholders in the sector.

The Parent- Teacher- Association (PTA) of Crescent Schools, Victoria Island, Lagos had petitioned the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, JAMB and the federal Ministry of Education over the use of some morally corrupt textbooks by candidates sitting for the UTME, the Basic Education Certificate Examination and pupils in the Junior Secondary School 1.

The petition which was jointly signed by the Head of school, Alhaja Fatimah Mahmud Oyekan and the Chairman of the school’s PTA, Alhaji Aliyu Gudaji, had accused NECO and JAMB of using some morally corrupt textbooks for their examinations.

Apart from In Dependence, written by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, the petitioners also identified The Precious Child, by Queen O. Okweshine and The Tears of a Bride, by Oyekunle Oyedeji, which were recommended by NECO as books that “glamorise acts of indecency such as rape, violence, kidnapping, and sexualisation of knowledge.”

They accused the writers of using vulgar languages to describe open sexual scenes that could breed rape and other forms of abuses among the innocent pupils

At a meeting convened by the board registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede and attended by Crescent Schools, President of the National Parent Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Alhaji Haliru Danjuma; Representative of the Christian Pilgrimage Commission, Dr. Shadrack Ukuma; Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Abuja, Prof. Adegboyega Kolawole, who represented the NAL President, Prof. Olu Obafemi, Oloyede said In Dependence replaced the originally recommended book, Last Days at Forcados High School, by AH Mohammed, which was to be used by UTME candidates for a period of four years.

“Examiners felt that after two years of using the book, there were no questions that would be set that had not been set. The content had been exhausted but the duration of time that JAMB signed with the publisher had not been exhausted. That was why we decided to use another book as a substitute from the same publisher.’’

Although Oloyede said he had earlier opposed the recommendation of the book on the ground that it lacked the basic moral and ethical standards for students, he pointed out that there was little he could do since the agreement with the publisher, Cassava Republic was signed by his predecessor and it still subsists.

He however pointed out that he is not keen on renewing the agreement with the publisher, adding, “we have made up our minds that we are going to be referring our recommended texts to NAL in the future for assessment.”

In her remarks, Mahmud- Oyekan said, “The book is prescribed and it has become compulsory. What it means is that you must read, enjoy and pass it, which is not acceptable.”

She however commended the registrar for being proactive, responsive and responsible; saying if all agencies of government could emulate the new attitude of JAMB leadership, Nigeria would be a better place for all to live.



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