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  1. Sir, I had my nursery and primary education in Port Harcourt between ’95 and 2002. In that time, we did not study “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and your article is the first place I am reading of “John and Ayi”. Perhaps, my private primary school education is a reason for that difference.

    I remember tales of “Ali & Simbi” though, Okon and Edet featured often too. In those series, by Macmillian Press I think, the authors focused on parts of Nigerian geography: Oron, Eket for Okon & Edet. The course books for English Language also featured excerpts from books by Nigerian authors as well as some foreign books. Again, it is possible this was a privilege for the private school educated.

    I follow your line of thought though. It is important that pupils are taught using tools that promote good moral and civil standing. The books I read, did. This is a place where administrators of public school education should come in. Left to me, I think those in charge presently have failed and new administrators should be put in place. However, our Civil Service, Local, State & Federal, cannot attract the best and the brightest. They also tend to frustrate those who wish to effect change.

    Oh well! What do I know?

  2. Just seeing this rubbish. I read those books in school in the 70s. I don’t know if this writer used them in school or just heard about them. Go back and read them properly. How did Ali end up? The children of The Bakos, a boy and a girl, were not named John and Ajayi. And that seried in Primary 5 and 6 came after Ali in Book 4

    1. In the Godfather trilogy, what happened to Michael Corleone or Luca Brasi? Did it terminate their enormous influence on popular culture? A bad guy for a kid’s hero might be great to a Nigerian. That was the point of the article. The Bakos toured Nigeria with the intention of giving primary school children an orientation of Nigeria; it did not work. If parents who are now generally more enlightened could choose what readers their kids are to read in primary school, the would not pick the one in question. It is a moral disaster!

  3. I just had the thought of this particular “Ali and the angel” story yesterday and I was wondering why such story would be told to such a toddler… It was such an interesting story but the content is just too powerful for such tender age… The kind of tears that dropped from my eyes after reading this article, the author would definitely understand my feelings… Good job author… God bless you