Mozambique: Inspectors Claim Errors Detected in the School Textbook Were Criminal

Maputo — The General Inspectorate of Public Administration has found evidence of crime in the case of errors detected in the 6th grade social science textbook in Mozambique and, it has therefore submitted its reports to the Central Office for the Fight Against Corruption (GCCC).

The case of the 6th grade textbook errors became public knowledge in May. A commission of inquiry was set up which concluded that there was negligence and lack of professionalism in the production of the textbooks, blaming departments of the Ministry of Education and Porto Editora, the Portuguese company that published the books.

According to the spokesperson of the General Inspection of Public Administration, Sérgio Goque, quoted by Radio Mozambique, 12 reports of investigations conducted by the institution were submitted to the GCCC, which is currently examining all the procedures followed in the production of the book, including contracting, acquisition, import, revision and distribution of the manual.

The worst howlers concern African geography. In a section dealing with pre-colonial states in southern Africa, the book states that Great Zimbabwe was bordered to the north by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. That would put Great Zimbabwe in the Arabian Peninsula, thousands of kilometres from its true location.

It also claimed that Malawi and Zambia are to the south of Zimbabwe, whereas in fact they are to the north.

The scandal has led to the sacking of several senior Ministry of Education officials, including the General Director of the National Institute for the Development of Education (INDE), Ismael Nheze.

Calling in the GCCC suggests that the inspectors do not believe the mistakes resulted from simple carelessness or neglect, but suspect corrupt payments were involved.