The Federal Government has announced the reintroduction of history as a subject in basic education curriculum in Nigeria thirteen years after its abolition.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who made announcement in Abuja on Thursday, said a total of 3,700 history teachers have also been shortlisted for the first round of training to enhance teaching of the subject.
Adamu spoke at the flag-off ceremony of the reintroduction of teaching of history and training of history teachers at basic education level.
The minister lamented that the national cohesion was being threatened with the country retreating into primordial sentiments because of lack of knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria following the removal of History from the basic education curriculum.
Adamu was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Opiah, at the event attended by Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and other key stakeholders in the education sector.
History was removed from primary and secondary education curriculums from the 2009/2010 academic session.
But following general reactions then that for a country that was still evolving and grappling with issues of social cohesion, political stability and economic development, it could not afford to forget its past, the current Minister of Education, ordered the reintroduction of the subject in 2019.
While speaking further at the flag-off, Adamu said: “History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in our classroom but for some inexplicable reasons, the steam of teching and leaming was abolished.
“As a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combination our students could offer in both external and internal examinations compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and secondary levels in Nigeria.
“This single act no doubt relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could otherwise have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and have already started seeing its negative consequences
“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of cvic values, and disconnect from the past. More worrisone was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post basic levels of education which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.
“The immediate implication of this was that we lost ideas even of our recent past, and we scarcely saw ourselves as one nation and gradually began retreated into our primordial sentiments,” he said.
On capacity building for teachers, having been disconnected from History teaching for several years, the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, said a total of 3,700 History teachers have been selected from the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for training.
Bobboyi added that the selection was done on pro rata basis, 100 teachers each from a state and FCT, stressing that this would equip them with the necessary skills to teach the subject, especially with the modification of the subject content.
He said following the directive by the Minister of Education for History to be restored as a subject in schools, the Commission and Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, went to work, saying he was glad that the task had been accomplished with the eventual flag-off of the teaching of History in schools on Thursday.
Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, in his goodwill message, said Nigeria, as a country, is still evolving and striving to achieve nationhood, adding that the rich history of the country’s diverse constituents could be explored and exploited to serve as an effective tool for nation building.
He appealed to traditional rulers as custodians of the nation’s rich culture, traditions and values, and indeed, all Nigerians to support the bold step taken by the government and given effect by UBEC to return the teaching of history as a subject at basic education level.
“We owe it a duty to encourage research for the documentation of the history of our people and should be forthcoming in granting access to historical records in our custody,” he said.