9th June, 2017.
The Honourable Minister of Education,
The Federal Ministry of Education,
Federal Secretariat Complex,
Shehu Shagari Way, Central Area,
P.M.B. 146, Garki, Abuja.
OUR COMPLAINT AND OBSERVATIONS ON THE IMMORAL CONTENTS IN OUR CURRICULA
We, the Parent-Teachers Association of Crescent College, Victoria Island, Lagos, are constrained to bring to your notice that we have observed that it has become the tradition of the National Examinations Council (NECO) to recommend junior secondary literature textbooks that fall short of moral standards that our nation’s educational system should be promoting. More specifically, the books are nothing but a means of glamorising acts of indecency such as rape, violence, kidnapping, girl defilement and sexualisation of knowledge.
The books expose the vulnerable and unsuspecting minds of 10-12 year olds to amorous and deviant practices that can in turn breed rapists, cultists, homosexuals and kidnappers in youngsters. The prevalence of cases of rape among secondary students in recent times cannot be unconnected with the urge to experiment with the experience they have from such books.
For example, The Precious Child, by Queen O. Okweshine, gave a vivid description of a young lady’s body as follows: If only I can find a sweet 16 to cool me down. But these eaglets with their fronts and backs fully set. Waaoo, those tender breasts that gyrate in provocating rhythm which seem to say (pushes his chest forward) ‘I swear to God.’ (page 56)
In the same vein, another book, ‘The Tears of a Bride’ authored by Oyekunle Oyedeji, an accountant, is another reason to make a responsive and responsible parent feel concerned about the kind of adults schooling is grooming their children to be. The story is centred on two characters, Ajibike and Akofe, who are passionately in love, with Araba, the staff bearer, not allowing them to be. The author throws caution and modesty to the dogs as reflected in the following excerpts:
1. Lights open on Akofe and Ajibike lying criss-cross on the ground with Ajibike’s head on Akofe’s chest and his arms wrapped around her. Akofe’s eyes are closed as he savours the splendour of the moment. His index finger runs through her body, drawing imaginary lines with its tip. Ajibike curiously raises her head from his chest to look into his face, only to discover a wide smile is playing therein. (page 10)
2. Tell them also that the breast of a woman in a man’s mouth tastes better than the best of palm wine. (page 86)
3. Araba comes out of his house bare to the waist and readjusts his wrapper. Romoke cries weakly as she comes out from the house holding her wrapper to her chest to prevent it from falling off her body. Araba has just defiled her. (page 91)
Furthermore, the tradition of literary immorality has recently graduated to the level of Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) as observable from the blameable content of its recommended Use of English text for the 2017 UTME, In Dependence. The book is succinctly described by the author, thus: It is the story of two people struggling to find themselves and each other – a story of passion and idealism, courage and betrayal, and the universal desire to fall madly, deep, in love. Nothing short of this enamoured description of love is depicted by the storyline. In fact, our students who sat the current UTME found it morally distasteful, to say the least.
In view of the negative effects of books like these on the morals of our children and the family system, the foundation of our society, we, therefore, request as follows:
1.There should be objective content analysis of books meant for learners’ consumption, before they are certified fit for school use by the appropriate organ of the ministry.
2. We request that such books (even as they affect other subjects) are withdrawn from use immediately considering the extent of their incalculable potential damage to the youths now and in future.
3.To forestall a recurrence, we demand that the process that led to the adoption of the books is investigated and whosoever is found culpable is sanctioned appropriately.
4.We implore the Ministry of Education to do everything possible within its powers to put a stop to the use of such books immediately.
5.We implore the Ministry to recommend, henceforth, books that teach values such as honesty, integrity, decency, hard work and selflessness, which seek to promote humanity in our youngsters, in the interest of our nation.
In conclusion, we are hopeful that our concerns on the textbooks and some perverted aspects of the curricula would be given a listening ear. As a parent and a role model, we eagerly look forward to your urgent decision and action in addressing these worries. Thank you in anticipation of your favourable response.
Mrs. Fatima Mahmud-Oyekan
Head of Crescent Schools
Alhaji Aliyu Gudaji
Chairman, Parents Teachers Association