Your book doesn’t just finds its way into the list of books used by schools. It has to follow a path. This is what I didn’t know. I had taken my book directly to the Federal Ministry of Education. I was at the Directorate of Basic and Secondary Education of the ministry. But the Director made it known to me that they do not have the constitutional right to recommend a book for use in schools. Doing that would amount to usurping the powers of another body. That body is the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC). It’s located at village called Sheda in the Gwagwalada suburb of Abuja.
I found my way to Sheda the next day, again not knowing what to expect. There website leaves you hungering for more info. It was only when I arrived there that I was met with another surprise. For them to appraise your book and see if it’s worthy of use in schools, there is money you have to pay. The pages of your book, including, the front and back covers and their inner sides, are counted. Then you have to pay N100 per page. That means that if your book has 300 pages, you would have to pay N30, 000. After that, copies of your book are sent to professors in universities across the country. The professors are chosen according to the theme of your book. If your book discusses health, your book is sent to a health professor, if it is a book on literature, the book is sent to a professor of literature, and so it goes. The professors read the book and decide if it is suitable for use in school and the level of education to which they find it suitable. They do not only do that, they also make corrections where necessary. So if your book is recommended, you have to effect those corrections and return to NERDC. After that, NERDC gives you a letter stating that the book is good enough to be used in a specified level of education. You take the letter to the Ministry of Education, from where another letter is written to schools, informing them that they should adopt your book for use in the teaching of students.
So, when next you write a book and hope to see students reading it, don’t just run to the schools or the Ministry Of Education. Go to NERDC first.