GES, NACCA Responsible For 'Offensive Ewe' Textbooks

Professor-Kwasi-Opoku-Amankwa, Director of GES Professor-Kwasi-Opoku-Amankwa, Director of GES

Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Concerned Ewe Youth group, Bright Atsu Agbesi, says the group will not fold its arms and watch publishers of textbooks, encourage tribal bigotry and the re-writing of their history.

He made this comment after controversial textbooks promoting stereotypical comments about the ethnic group surfaced on the Ghanaian market.

This subsequently sparked criticism on social media from some Ghanaians, particularly Ewes.

The National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA), however, says it has not approved the controversial textbooks and asked its publishers to withdraw the books from the market.

The Ewe Youth group, says the statement from NaCCA is not enough and asked the Council to offer its unqualified apology to Ewes for the failure to ensure compliance of publishers.

Speaking in an interview on the Happy Morning Show aired on Happy98.9FM and e.TV Ghana with host, Samuel Eshun, Bright lamented, "The content of the book is wrong and as Ewes, we don't want it to be a part of our history. We take offense to such sayings and they need to be nipped in the bud. The authorities, NaCCA and GES must not shift blame. It is their responsibility to provide oversight to these publishers and with the book being released into the public domain, it is no one's fault but theirs".

To him, the statement released by NaCCA is not enough to absorb them of their sins but they should take drastic measures against these publishers. "They should pick the books and rid them from the market".

According to him, what has started with the Ewe people can very soon happen to the other ethnic groups in the country if it is not frowned on.

"We are giving these publishers and the authorities 14 days to remove the books from the market. If they fail to do so, we will embark on a nationwide demonstration, seize all the books and burn them", he revealed.

In these books and others discovered on social media, the authors made inappropriate references to personalities and ethnic groups which are deemed unfortunate and distasteful and contradicts NaCCA's Book Submission Guidelines.

The said books which are not listed on the Council's website among other approved books for academic work described Ewes as inward-looking and forgiving to their tribesmen.

Under the heading "Ethnic Group" it stated that Ghana is made up of Ethnic groups, they are the Akan, the Ewe, the Guan, the Ga-Adangme, the Mole-Dagbani and the Gonja.

Under the Akan, the publishers wrote that they originated from the old Ghana Empire.

They went through Egypt and settled in Nubia (Sudan). When they felt that they were treated badly, they moved from Nubia. The moved from the north and settled in the Pro valley around 500AD (5th century).

They later moved west and built small trading kingdoms. The Akans speak Twi and Fante. They occupy two third area of Ghana. The Akan ethnic group is sub-divided into Asante, Fantr, Bono, Akyem, Adansi, Kwahu, Assin Twifo, Denkyira, Akwamu, Sefwi, Aowin and Nzema.

With respect to the Asante, they wrote that "the Asantes are part of the Akan ethnic group. The Asantes are the largest group among the Akan ethnic group.Obiri Yeboa led the Asantes to move from the Pra valley to establish their states northward between 1660 and 1670. The Asante were further divided into clans".

On the Ewe ethnic group, the stated that "

The Ewe people speak many different dialects of the Ewe language.

The traditional Ewe people's religion is called Voodoo. Voodoo means 'spirit'. Voodoo followers believe that Mawu is their creator. They also believe other lower gods.

Ewe ethnic group came to Ghana from other countries. The Ewe people now live in the Volta Region of Ghana.

The people still live in villages and choose their chiefs by voting. The voting id influenced by the elders. The chief must never be seen drinking and must cover his head in public.

How the Ewe Dress

The Ewes make their own cloth called Kente and it is similar to the Ashanti Kente cloth, because they learned if from the Akan when they were there into slavery.

They use the name Kente to describe their woven dress. They dress in large loincloth of Kente wrapped around the body, including a pan on the shoulder.

Language

They speak four dialects. Ewe is a community language of some African States. The language can be found in the four West countries, namely, Ghana, Togo, Benin and the Republic of Nigeria

There are other languages such as Fon, Phla, Phera and Aja.

Political institution of Ewes

The Ewe ethnic group had their system of governance where the main chiefs were the overall boss. That is, they had all powers. They controlled all the affairs of the towns. They erroneously claim that "a song that shows the Ewes identity I am Ewe. I migrated from River Niger area in Nigeria.

I migrated because King Agorkoli treated me bad. I have plenty of rice. I also have salt and it has made me rich. I have the largest lake full of tilapia. I have an attitude to show love especially to my people

If you can speak my language and you step on my toes I'm not bothered.

I enjoy music and dancing in my Kente cloth. People say I am inward-looking but that is what they think.

I am very good, especially to my people. I always stay away from trouble.

They wrote a song about Mole-Dagbani's identity

I'm Mole-Dagbani, I migrated from North-East of the Lake Chad. I have yam, groundnuts, millet and many nutritious foods. I have the most beautiful palace in the Northern part of Ghana. When I put on my fugu (smock), I look good. Because I am trustworthy, I am very serviceable. I am very strong and fearless. I enjoy dancing and the little chance I get, I dance. I am very kind to everybody.

Song that identifies Ga-Adangme

I am Ga-Adangme, I migrated from Yuroba land in Western Nigeria. The Capital of Ghana is mine.

It has made me beautiful and rich because many people pay tribute to me. I have a tradition that can make me ban noise and no one can stop me.

I enjoy the sea breeze. Because of the sea I enjoy fish and my body is always looking fresh.

Meanwhile, another claim about the people of Wulugu has been rubbished. It said "There is no water. Keywords: Well, Calabash, bush fire, sieve, safe. READ: Wulugu is a town. There is no tap water. The people fetch water from a small river and a well. People fetch water into their pots and buckets. There is water in the river and the well if it rains.

There has been little rain this year. The whole place is dirty. The water in the well has dried up. The people fetch water from the river Goat, Sheep and Cows drink from the river. The people use calabash and cup s to collect water from the river. They put the water into their buckets and pots.

There is bush fire in the area. The fire has burnt maize farms. It has also burnt rice and yam farms. Women and school children walk to Puuza to get water. The children are late for school. Puuza is a long way from Wulugu".

The Volta Regional House of Chiefs has condemned the publishers of the History of Ghana Textbook 3 and Golden English Basic 4 for publishing books which cast "derogatory allusions and innuendos at Ewes."

The books, History of Ghana Textbook 3 by Badu Nkansah Publications, features a song that shows the Ewes identity; Golden English Basic 4 by Golden Publications, displays 'Efo agrees to prepare the juju for the players' on page 17.

In a statement issued by the Regional House of Chiefs and signed by its President, Togbe Tepre Hodo IV on Monday, 15 March 2021, the Volta Chiefs noted that their attention has been drawn to the contents of a "book designed for use by lower classes in the current educational structure."

The house described some of the content of the books which it refers to casting "derogatory allusions and innuendos at Ewes," as "distasteful and a disgrace to the authors and publishers of the said material intended to educate the younger generation of this country."

The Regional House of Chiefs said: "We deem it highly reprehensible for those responsible for this offensive publication, to harbour such vile thoughts about their fellow citizens of Ghana in the twenty-first century."

"We therefore unreservedly condemn this singular demonstration of tribal bigotry and prejudice and call on those responsible for the offensive publication, to withdraw the same from circulation and to destroy every part of the offending material.

The house further demanded "an unqualified apology from the authors and publishers of this base material to be rendered to all Ewe speaking citizens of Ghana"

It urged other "ethnic groups in this country, to condemn such divisive publications which only serve as a recipe for chaos and disunity."

The house added that: "In the event that this ill-advised publication is discovered anywhere after our demand for the same to be withdrawn from circulation, we hereby serve notice that the Chiefs and people of Ewe ethnic origin, will take appropriate legal measures to ensure that these mischief-makers walk on the right side of the law."

Source: theheraldghana.com