Tinubu, ANCOPSS, others want History reintroduced in schools

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor

The disconnect between youths and the society and the attendant moral decadence have prompted Nigerians to call for the reintroduction of History as a subject in schools.

Notable stakeholders in education and political big wigs told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that restoring History as a core subject in the schools’ curriculum would enhance Nigeria’s national values.

History is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.

They told NAN that through History, youths would be able to connect with the past and learn from previous pitfalls of their forefathers to build a better society.

The President of the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Mrs. Omotunde Lawson, called for the restoration of History in secondary school curriculum to re-establish national values.

Lawson told NAN in Lagos that the removal of the subject in the school curriculum had caused distortion in students’ perception of national values.

“Many things have been lost due to the removal of History from the school curriculum. What exists in schools now is mere storytelling,’’ she said.

Lawson, who is the Principal of FESTAC Senior Grammar School, FESTAC Town, Lagos, said that students were only told what happened in the past, which they were not familiar with during morning assembly.

“What we do now is to tell the students what we think they need to know about past events.

“They cannot trace those events to even know what happened in the past and why we are where we are.

“So, History is a subject that must be reintroduced if we do not want to lose our past; our facts and figures of what happened in the past to focus on what happens next,’’ she said.

According to her, many students have lost the ability to read; they are now lazy to read because they no longer offer History, which requires serious reading.

NAN recalls that last week in Abuja, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, advocated for the return of History as a subject in the country’s school curriculum.

Speaking at a book launch, entitled “Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’’, in Abuja, Tinubu, said that any nation that forgets its past had lost a beacon to guide its actions.

Tinubu, who is a former Governor of Lagos State, said the removal of history, as a subject in Nigerian schools was disturbing.

He lamented that the move had cut off the younger generations of Nigerians from learning about the nation’s history and tradition as well as past mistakes.

“If countries, including the U.S., teach their students about their histories, why not Nigeria with its rich history and tradition.

“History helps a people to connect with the past and learn from past pitfalls,’’ Tinubu said.

Also, Mr. Augustine Agali, the Proprietor of the Prevailers Schools, Ijegun, Lagos, said that history was essential to the academic development of every Nigerian child.

He told NAN that history taught students about happenings in the past, the mistakes and how such mistakes were overcome.

“When children are taught about the Ghanaian empire, Mali Empire and Songhai Empire, they will learn a lot.

“It also helps children with the use of language; it helps them know their roots and improve on the future.

“I want history to be a compulsory subject just as Civics because many students do not show interest in the subject,’’ he said.

Agali commended the proposed reintroduction of history as a subject into the primary and junior secondary school curriculum.

He urged the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC) to develop the scheme of work as soon as possible for the smooth take off of the subject.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) have said the reintroduction of History as a subject in the Primary and Junior Secondary curriculum would soon begin.

Dr. Moses Salau, the council’s Director, told NAN in Lagos that History was very important at the primary and junior secondary schools being the foundation levels.

According to him, history is presently been taught at the senior secondary school but there is a gap that needs to be filled; that is at the primary and junior classes.

He said that as and when finally introduced, history would become a core subject to be offered leaving school examinations.

“The relevance of history to education is enormous because we need to know where we are coming from, where we are and where we are going.

“When we don’t know our history, where we are coming from, how can we appreciate our present situation?

“History is very important; some components of history were infused into social studies at the primary and junior classes, but you cannot take history as a part of social studies.

“Our children need to know how Nigeria started the amalgamation when we started the regional government, premier and the regions.

“But all these are lost without the teaching of history.

“Each community, state, ethnic group, tradition and culture has its own history; so our children must learn all this from primary school because as they say, charity begins at home and we must start now.

“History is presently being offered at the senior secondary school; there is a gap which needs to be filled from primary to junior secondary school,’’ he said.

The director said there was the need to bridge the gap between the primary and senior secondary schools in the teaching of the subject.

He said that pupils in the primary and junior schools did not have knowledge of Nigerian history, thus there is the need to reintroduce it.

“We don’t have the foundation in the lower class and there is no preliminary information for the primary and junior secondary schools.

“Then they proceed to the senior secondary school and take history for just a few terms.

“We want to run it as one of the core courses in the primary and junior secondary schools.

“It will be a core course and immediately NERDC completes work on the curriculum, we will start implementing it,’’ Salau said.

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