A fourth-grade history textbook has sparked widespread debate due to its inclusion of content that discusses the disadvantages of religion, specifically Christianity. The book in question is titled “History of Ghana for Basic Schools, Learner’s Book 4” and is authored by Francis Benjamin Appiah and Henry David Appiah.
The cover page and a particular section of the textbook have been circulating on social media platforms, triggering both outrage and attempts to justify the controversial points made. In a section titled “Negative Effects of Christian Missionary Activities,” the authors present seven points, including claims that religion is a significant global cause of conflict, that Christianity has contributed to increased poverty, and that the religion introduced by missionaries instills fear and timidity in its followers.
Furthermore, the section holds religion accountable for the actions of fraudulent individuals posing as religious leaders, asserts that religious groups discriminate against women, and suggests that politicians exploit religion to fuel insecurity while advancing their self-serving agendas. The authors conclude by stating that religion in Ghana discourages creativity, invention, and critical thinking due to its conservative and static nature.
The inclusion of such content has generated strong reactions on social media, with some expressing deep concern and disgust, while others attempt to defend or rationalize the viewpoints presented.
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) in reacting to the book has stated that the version cited is not what was approved.
A Deputy Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Yaw Opoku Mensah is quoted by Joy News as stating that NaCCA had not approved the particular copy.
He claimed that per the information provided to him by NaCCA, the approved version of the book did not have the section in question, the Joy News report added.
NaCCA is an entity mandated by the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023) to develop national curriculum and assessment standards for pre-tertiary education institutions other than technical and vocational education and training institutions.