Against claims by a certain foundation that it was commissioned by Enugu State Ministry of Education to market approved primary and secondary textbooks for authors in the state, the state commissioner for education has debunked it.
Prof Uchenna Eze told our correspondent that the state ministry of education has not mandated any foundation to market books for authors.
The reaction followed an allegation that the foundation would call authors of approved textbooks, and force them to pay N5, 000 compulsory fee to get their books sold in various schools in the state.
An author who does not want his name mentioned said, “I was called by the man, who claims to be a lawyer. He said his foundation was licensed to be marketing such books, and that the authors are mandated to pay the foundation the sum of N5, 000.
“I paid through his personal account, and up until today, no information has been gotten from the man. If you call him, he would say he is in Abuja, and that I should not worry.”
Another author said, “It was a worker of the state Education Resource Centre that told me to call the man. I did that, believing that it was a genuine business. After the payment, I have not heard anything again.”
In a reaction, Commissioner Eze said, “It is not true. The policy of the ministry is that we review books every three years. If you enter JSSI, you use those books for three years. The person then transits to senior secondary.
“We don’t review books for senior secondary. WAEC recommends its books. When it is the time, we call for reviews, then the books are assessed. The ones that are curriculum-based are approved. Our jobs end by listing in a book form all the books that are recommended.
“The ministry does not sell books for anybody. The ministry does not force anybody to buy books. That a book is recommended means that it is useful for the child and the child can buy it. A and B must not have the same book.
“Anybody that comes to tell you that you pay and they will market for you is a private business. But when a staff member of the ministry gets involved, that is where I sense trouble because they don’t have the right to do that. The only thing that the Education Resource Centre does is for Igbo and English literature, which will be used for the exam.
“Among the texts, they can now say that these ones are for the basic exams. They cannot recommend any other book except Igbo and English literature. It has to be based on the ones that are recommended generally.”