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Publisher's book projecting negative stereotypes of human head

Date published: Saturday, 2nd April 2016

Anis Haffar

An educationist, Anis Haffar, says the author and publisher of the ‘Prof. Quarm Series,’ Joseph Albert Quarm, is misleading young children and projecting negative stereotypes following his classification of the human head as a part of the human body used for carrying loads.

He further rubbished the under-fire author and publisher’s justification of his work.

In his ‘Natural Science for Primary Schools – Pupil’s Book 1,’ the author stated that the human head is used for carrying loads.

This classification has however been heavily criticized on social media, with the Vice President of IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil, calling for an immediate withdrawal of the books from schools.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday morning, Albert Quarm defended his example saying using activity and contextual based learning is the appropriate way to teach children at the primary level.

The human head is not meant for carrying loads But reacting to the author on the Citi Breakfast show, Mr. Haffar said even biology dictated that the human head was not intended for carrying loads because it eventually led to the damaging of ones spine over time.

“It is not normal, the human head was not ordained by God to carry things on the head because what is going to happen is that, the cartilages between the vertebrae are going to get worn out. So that a child who is consistently carrying things on the head will be having problems with the neck.”

To Mr. Haffar, the bigger problem is the fact that young children are being molded and misled with negative stereotypes.

“What bothers me is that we feed on the negative stereotypes on society and we enforce that on young people so they keep reinforcing the negative onto their lives. This is a clear depiction of what this teacher has done,” he added.

According to him, “primitive depictions” of things like the example in Prof Quarm’s book should not be used as learning tools because they count as negative exposure.

“…We put primitive depictions of things as a learning tool; we can’t do that. We have to begin to look at the things that are inspiring, the things that will spark an interest, that will spark initiative, that will spark a particular part of curiosity.”

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