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Reintroduction Of History In School Curriculum
Published Dec 06, 2022 IN News, Education,
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THE hue and cry that trailed the removal of History from the school curriculum in Nigeria was put to rest recently when the Federal Government reversed the policy. The reintroduction of History, as a stand-alone subject in the basic education curriculum in Nigeria, came 13 years after the Federal Government, under the administration of late President Shehu Musa Yar’adua, abolished the subject.

The cheery news was brokered by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in Abuja, on the occasion of the formal ceremony/ training of History teachers at the basic education level that ushers in the reintroduction of the subject. Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opia, the minister regretted the threat posed to national cohesion, owing to the lack of knowledge of Nigeria’s evolution as a result of removal of History from the school curriculum.

As a stepping stone towards the realisation of the new policy, the Federal Government is training a total of 3,700 teachers of the subject to prosecute the new history regime. The move will enhance their capacity and mastery of the subject in order to impart the necessary knowledge on the pupils and students.

At the time the subject was brought down from the rack of subjects, many Nigerian analysts inputted various reasons, ranging from political; attempt to deny a section of the country the knowledge of the country’s history and make up and the drive to manipulate and ingloriously claim indigeneship of Nigeria entity by some migrant settlers.

However, only a laudable submission can suffice here, which is that history was removed because many students were avoiding the subject, no jobs for history graduates, while teachers were evidently scarce in all schools. Even with the few available teachers, students, due to lack of interest, avoided classes.

While we do not outrightly blame those that succumbed to the lobby for the removal at the time it was effected in 2009, the effect of the removal manifested in dwindling moral value, which touched on socio-economic development and has subsisted till this day. Many young Nigerians, mostly teenagers and undergraduates, have been disconnected from their past, moral and cultural values.

Like John Locke (1634-17O4) postulated, “All knowledge comes exclusively through experience”. Social life in the country is no longer anchored on sound moral knowledge, garnered from experience and upbringing, but on precisions and expectations, which have swayed the lives of the young people. For instance, History was one of the foundational subjects taught at the elementary/basic and secondary level to expose the young ones to where they were coming from and what the future could hold for them, if they can adhere to societal norms as bequeathed to them by their parents and teachers.

As Nigerians, we cherish the history of our people and existence. It is a well-known belief that somebody who does not know his history is like a dead human. Our children desire to know who they are and where they are coming from. In recent years, most young people are abandoning their roots due to lack of knowledge.

Therefore, we commend the Federal Government for the reintroduction of history as a subject in the basic education curriculum. The development will bring to the fore the need to inculcate the necessary moral knowledge and experience on the young Nigerians.

We call on those (teachers) undergoing training to be focused and pursue the agenda with the desired vigour and interest in order to justify the latest government position and impart the necessary knowledge on students.

Traditional rulers, who are unarguably the custodian of history and rich cultures, should avail the authority necessary information that would improve research on the subject and ensure proper documentation of the history of the people.

As we look forward to the effective reintroduction of the subject, we admonish teachers and students to receive the new policy with desired expectations and get prepared to impart and receive the knowledge of history, while government at all levels should brace up to provide jobs for the graduates.

History is bedrock of human existence and it enhances knowledge and creates opportunities for acceptance.

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