|Teachers, during various seminars, workshops and departmental meetings, continuously
complained about the inadequacy of the grade 9 biology textbook used in the Eritrean
secondary schools. Among others, the teachers concerns has provided a necessary
stimulus for embarking on this research which sought to determine the role, quality
readability and relevance of the Eritrean grade 9 biology textbook, based on the teachers'
and students' perceptions.
Interviews, questionnaires, Cloze test and Word Difficulty Index were used to collect the
data. The interview and questionnaires provided information on how the textbook was
being used by both teachers and students. In addition they provided information about
quality of the textbook and its relevance to the daily life experiences of the students.
Moreover, Cloze test and Word Difficulty Index provided information on the readability
of the textbook.
The finding of this study reveals that both teachers and students use the textbook as the
major source of information. Also, the factors that determine quality of the textbook were
found to be poor except the physical features and organisation. With respect to relevance,
very limited attempts were made to link biology to the daily life experiences of the
students. The Cloze test and Word Difficulty Index show that the students clearly
experience difficulty in understanding what they have read.
In conclusion, this study makes some recommendation to writers on how to improve the
quality of the textbook. The results obtained in this study are by no means exhaustive.
Finally, areas warranting further investigation are suggested.