By Ngozi Nwankwo
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has officially flagged off the reintroduction of the Teaching of History and the commencement of the training of History teachers at the basic education level.
Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah, Mallam Adamu Adamu expressed that the decision to re-introduce history is another important milestone in revamping education sector beginning from the basic level of teaching and learning.
“This ceremony marks the laying of another sustainable foundation for our educational system and further expands our opportunities for building resilience through an initiative that will inculcate in our young the knowledge of where they are coming from,” he said.
According to him, history used to be one of the foundation subjects taught in our classroom but for inexplicable reasons, the stream of teaching and learning was abolished forcing it to be expunged from the list of subject combination students could offer in both external and internal examinations compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and senior secondary levels in Nigeria.
On reasons why the subject was re-introduced, the Minister argued that history underlies approach and methods deployed in addressing our current day challenges, especially with insecurity.
” We would naturally use historical narratives with the application of experience resulting from causes of events to solutions by using homegrown solutions. This is ordinarily centered on our ethnic, heritage, cultural host, multicultural influences within our peculiar communities which derive from our common origins.
“Such an entrenched teaching and learning provide the opportunity for appreciating antecedents that extol the great deeds of our past heroes, their sacrifices and contributions to creating the foundation for an indivisible nation. It is in doing this that we remember and celebrate monumental achievements, memorable dates, events, names, and every event of historical significance,” said Minister.
Expressing further on the return of history at the basic education level, Adamu added “this occasion today reminds us that it is not too late to rediscover and expose our next generations to the historical development of their fatherland and begin to conscincetise them on the prevention of pitfalls and how to avoid repetition of past mistakes and failures. This will help them reconnect with the past. This can be done through the documentation of facts and figures by teaching and learning history as a subject”
He further added that the need to exploit the lost original African tradition of story-telling, which used to capture and teach values, morals, folklore and most of our oral history can’t be divorced from reasons why the subject has to return.
“This development has pushed us to a point where the study of history has to be brought back to enhance our understanding of how events occurred in the past, how this knowledge can shape our interactions in the present and define what we bequeath to our future generations”
He added that “It is logical that if history underlies approach and methods deployed in addressing our current day challenges, especially with insecurity, we would naturally use historical narratives with the application of experience resulting from causes of events to solutions by using homegrown solutions. This is ordinarily centered on our ethnic heritage, cultural history, multicultural influences within our peculiar communities which derive from our common origins.
According to the Minister, the need to exploit the lost original African tradition of story-telling, which used to capture and teach values, morals, folklore and most of the oral history cannot be divorced form reasons why the subject has to return.
On how the new program will excel, he said, “In re-introducing the teaching and learning of history, government is not only concerned about the learners, but hopes to pay particular attention to the teachers who will impart the knowledge. Therefore, training and retraining of these teachers in order to enhance their capacity development that will lead to the mastery of the subject will be a focus of this re-introduction. Additionally the teachers will be provided with the requisite skills needed to teach the subject, the technique, methodology which will eventually give the subject a didactic outlook that will arouse the interest of the children to listen with rapt attention and remove the initial barriers that may have inhibited learning”
Minister, therefore, appreciated the Heads of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC,Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, other agencies and their teams for the taking giant steps towards implementing the directive from the ministry to return history as a teaching subject the basic education level.
The event which was held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, under the auspices of UBEC, saw governors, traditional rulers and stakeholders make remarks, while distribution of history training manuals to SUBEBs took place.