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NERDC cautions publishers against smuggling unapproved textbooks into schools


Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Prof. Ismail Junaidu has warned publishers against moving unapproved textbooks into the country’s school system saying only the council has the mandate to assess and approve books for usage.

Junaidu who spoke during the 2017 conference and general meeting of the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) in Lagos, blamed existence of controversial and immoral textbooks in some schools on some publishers, advising those involved to desist from such act in the interest of the Nigerian child.

Represented by the Director, Book Development Centre of the council, Dr. Imaobong Nsehe, he said defective textbooks are clogs in the wheel of progress of Nigerian education system.

“Publishers have a duty to send their books to NERDC for assessment. The council is the government agency that is officially mandated to assess and recommend books for use in schools. But a lot of people are still not sending their book to us for assessment. Maybe because they know their books are not good enough and does not stand a good chance of being recommended. They go ahead and publish the books and find ways of getting it into the system without NERDC approval, and this is very wrong.

“All the books has to go through NERDC assessment else it is not acceptable. Some publishers try to cut corners by meeting the state commissioners of education who happen to be their friends or relatives to approve their books for use in schools without going through NERDC. That is how those controversial books get into the school system, because we have records of books we approved for usage.”

On whether Federal Ministry of Education (FME) has the obligation to recommend books for usage in schools, he said they do that through the NERDC parastatals of the ministry.

To get good and quality books into the school system, he advised publishers to be honest in paying loyalties to authors.

President of the group, Mr. Gbadega Adedapo, however told The Guardian that “majority of books in our bookshops were pirated and so obviously the incomes are neither coming to the publishers nor the authors of the materials. With a functional book policy in place, if well implemented, it will solve most of these problems.

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