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The Return of History To Nigerian School

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Nigeria News takes a look at the return of History to schools.

Pupils of Nigerian Schools in the seventies and eighties enjoyed History as a subject.

This is because the subject moved the students closer to the events of the past and Heroes that were involved in it.

The teaching of History competed favourably with Government for students of arts and stood as a separate discipline at the university level.

Today, History and International Relation is offered as a course in some universities while it has gone to extinction at the secondary school level.

History died due to Dearth of teachers, which eventually made students to lose interest in the subject.

After years of trying without success, the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, the body that is responsible for curriculum development reintroduced Civic to Junior Secondary School and abolished the teaching of History in Senior Secondary School.

Although Civic emphasises a bit on the events of the past, it has failed to fill the gap created by the teaching of History since its abolition.

The lack of sense of History has eroded our value system to the extent that today’s youths now treat the past Heroes with disdain.

A good example is the story of a young man who asked the Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka to leave a seat allocated to him in the plane without showing any respect to the octogenarian.

The story went viral with many condemning the attitude of the young man. As a matter of fact, the young man was not wrong to have demanded his rightful seat in the plane, his lack of sense of history was obvious.

Despite the intervention of another popular figure, the oil mogul, Tonye Cole who was also on board that the young man should let the professor be, the “macho” man insisted to take his windowside seat.

But a big thanks should go to President Muhammadu Buhari who has now called for the return of History in schools.

The NERDC will have to come up with a new curriculum to accommodate the teaching of History and ensure that moral education is integrated into it.

The teaching of Civic should be allowed to continue at Junior Secondary School while History should become a compulsory subject for all students of arts in our secondary schools.

To make this work, the government should employ thousands of teachers who are major in History and International Relations.

The idea of a government teacher being converted to a History tutor must stop. Schools should organize debate and quiz competition for History students as it is being done presently for Mathematics and English Language.

By so doing, our value system will rejuvenate with more honour to our Heroes past.

What I see today is that schools in Nigeria embrace foreign culture more than the local ones.

A few days ago, the University of Lagos Institute of Confucius announced that it had trained over 6000 students in th Chinese Language while the Nigerian languages are daily going into extinction.

Confucius was a Chinese Philosopher and he was like a Christ in China.

If over 6000 students had learned about Chinese in Nigeria, I think it will be better if more than such number can learn about the life and philosophy of the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

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