Togo: Education /Minister announces overhaul of school textbooks to reflect local realities

The school textbook serves as a crucial tool for instruction and socialization, conveying not only knowledge but also norms and values. In Togo, however, concerns have been raised about the content of these textbooks, prompting the implementation of measures to create materials that align with the country’s requirements.

Education Minister Komlan Dodzi Kokoroko is pushing for textbooks that not only encapsulate Togo’s realities but also resonate with its people.

Particularly, history and geography textbooks for secondary education are set to undergo a comprehensive review, according to the minister.

Highlighting a current imbalance, the minister notes that existing textbooks predominantly feature Africa and Europe, often neglecting the local context.

The revamped content will place a greater emphasis on local realities and Togo’s modern history.

«As of the academic year 2024-2025, following President Faure Gnassingbé’s directive, we will have textbooks designed by Togolese teachers for Togolese students in history, geography, and citizenship», stated the minister.

He also expressed openness to drawing inspiration from successful practices in France or the USA while incorporating local perspectives.

The move comes amid a growing body of research by scholars and historians examining textbooks from dark periods in history.

Their findings reveal that textbooks can serve as instruments of neocolonialism, influencing populations by disseminating values and beliefs embedded in the materials.

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