It is incumbent on the government to buy textbooks for schools and provide them to both teachers and children as a sacred duty owed to the teachers, children, and the nation.
Perform Your Duties, Buy Textbooks For Schools
The issue of whether or not parents should buy textbooks for their children has generated serious public debate in recent times.
Some people are of the view that the government should not be saddled with the problem of buying textbooks for schoolchildren.
They still argue that with the increasing trend in the population of children in the country, it will be too expensive for the government to assume that responsibility.
It is further contended that resources that would be channeled into the provision of textbooks could be used to expand educational facilities in the country.
However, there are several reasons why I think parents should not buy textbooks for their children.
Firstly, looking at the level of poverty in this country, it will be unfair for one to suggest that parents should buy textbooks for their children. If the government should insist that parents buy textbooks for their children, then it will mean that majority of Ghanaian children will be denied textbooks for no fault of theirs since the majority of parents are poor.
How can the new educational reform be successful if only a few schoolchildren can get access to textbooks to study? Government is yet to boast of providing any textbooks to public schools based on the new curriculum it rolled out. Teachers in public schools are working hard to access any resource possible just to prepare for lessons because there are no reference books and learners have not been provided either.
Similarly, there is serious unemployment on our hands. Most people find it difficult to afford two square meals a day as a result of their inability to get decent jobs to do. How can we expect people who depend on menial jobs for survival to get money to purchase textbooks for their wards for academic purposes?
Ironically, these are people who form the majority of Ghanaians today. Expecting these people to buy textbooks for their children is to suggest that their children should not be educated at all.
Furthermore, a cursory look at the number of schools in most areas shows that any policy that is geared towards parents buying textbooks for their children or wards will be a self-inflicted disaster. How many bookshops do we have in the rural areas where a greater number of our schools are established?
It is no secret that every parent who can afford it finds it difficult to get textbooks for their children in most rural areas in the country. So why not encourage the government to supply these textbooks to all schools gratuitously?
Finally, it is an indisputable fact that the illiteracy rate in the country is very high. So why do we expect illiterate parents to buy textbooks for their children?
It is in the light of the above reasons that I disagree with the suggestion that parents should buy textbooks for their children.
The government as a key stakeholder in the education sector has put in place policies that prevent even the PTA from embarking on any self-help projects in the name of Free basic school and SHS education. Hence, it should be the responsibility of the government to buy textbooks for schools.