Publishers fault Anambra Govt yearly review of educational books

Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State

The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) has appealed to the Anambra State Government to reconsider its “incessant review of books and academic materials” for schools in the state.

Dr Uchenna Anioke, the President and Chairman-in-Council of NPA, the professional association of publishers in Nigeria, made the plea in a statement issued at its national headquarters in Ibadan on Monday.

According to Anioke, the state government reviewed reviews of primary school books which are still running, and the state also carried out a review exercise of junior and senior secondary schools textbooks in 2022.

He added that the state government followed these review exercises up with a fresh notice on February 1, 2023, titled, “Guidelines to Publishers and Authors on the 2023-2024 Primary and Secondary Education Book Review Exercise.”

The NPA president said that the association believed that this notice was coming too soon after the previous exercises.

“Our appeal to His Excellency, Gov. Charles Soludo is to reconsider this yearly review which comes with a huge financial cost to parents and publishers.

“In spite of not getting the needed support from the Federal and state governments, members of our association toil so hard to shoulder the financial cost of the review of these academic materials.

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“Additionally, with the increasing cost of production of these books, our members submit at least six copies of each title at no cost to the authorities each time a review is to take place.

“This will amount to a huge amount of money for someone submitting 100 titles, for instance, in an environment where our members enjoy zero incentive,” Anioke said.

He stressed that allowing the exercise for three years for secondary schools and six years for primary schools as recommended by National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) policy would reduce expenses by parents and guardians.

“Parents will not have to incur the cost of purchasing books for their children and wards yearly, especially those with more than one child in school.”

Anioke said that it was regrettable that every effort made by the NPA to have a conversation with the state commissioner for education had failed.