The Prime Ministerial Decree of November 23, 2017 regulates and harmonises the book sector in primary and secondary schools.
As part of efforts to instill order in the designation of books for primary and secondary schools in the country, the Prime Minister and Head of Government, Philemon Yang on November 23, 2017 signed a decree relating to the creation, organisation and functioning of a national commission in charge of follow-up and evaluation in the implementation of the national policy on books and other didactic materials.
The decree which controls the number of books per subject and class prescribes a change of text books every six years after a mid-term evaluation. The decree is therefore expected to halt the anarchy that reigns in the selection of texts for pedagogic purposes.
The decree comes at a time when the liberation of the book sector is witnessing some confusion. Publishers scheme for their books to be included in the school curricular, a practice which results to a multiplicity of books with most of them having similar content.
The burden then falls on parents who are obliged to purchase so many books for their children. With the financial difficulties at the moment, spending on books with similar content is not necessary.
Given the current economic challenges, it is also expensive having to oblige parents change books for their kids ever so often. In addition, the ages of the children do not match the books they have to read. A morning view of students going to school is greeted with young children carrying school bags weighing them down with so many books. Some critics even complain of the presence of books of low standards.
The decree which gives more precision and clarity to texts books to be used is expected to greatly downsize the anarchy that prevailed. Students will henceforth have fewer books to concentrate on for studies which will improve results. The uniformity in the books will facilitate inter-school brainstorming and common subjects of discussion within the pedagogic landscape.