The House of Representatives urged the Presidency to sanction the staff of the Federal Ministry of Education, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Examination Council (NECO) over books recommended for the new academic session.
It further mandated its committee on basic education to invite the registrars of JAMB and NECO, the executive secretary of NERDC as well as the minister of education to explain the rationale behind the recommended books and report back within twelve weeks.
The lawmakers expressed concern that the books fell short of the ethical values and standards stipulated by the National Policy on Education.
This is even as it worried that the regular use of obscene language in the description of events and characters in the books make them unsuitable for use in schools as they are capable of eroding the right type of values, attitude and national ideals that the country needs to develop.
The resolution to sanction staff of the affected Ministry, Departments and Agencies follows the adoption of a motion on the need for a critical assessment of books recommended for Junior Secondary Schools and prospective Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME candidates in Nigeria moved by Hon. Mohammed A. Mahmud
Leading the debate on the motion, Mahmud noted that “education is the key vehicle for the advancement of human potentials, opportunities and molding of desirable values and attitudes in order to promote patriotism, hardwork and integrity.
“One of the key issues of national importance emphasized in the National policy on education is the inculcation of the right types of values and attitude for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society.
“Books such as ‘The Precious Child’, ‘The Tears of a Bride’ and ‘Dependence’ expose young students to behaviors and practices that promote social vices and corrupt moral values.”
He added that use of such books resulted, essentially from the failure of the NERDC, JAMB, NECO as well as the federal ministry of education to perform their statutory functions.
The lower chamber also urged on the ministry and educational bodies to immediately withdraw the books from their curriculum even as it called on the ministry to carry out a comprehensive review of existing books recommended for use in secondary schools with a view to determining whether their contents adhere to stipulated standards.