Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Government on Tuesday announced the reintroduction of History Studies back into the Nigerian primary and junior secondary school curriculum.
The subject was launched alongside a teachers’ guide on how best to administer the course of study.
History Studies as a stand-alone subject was abolished in 1982 and merged with Social Studies as part of basic education school curriculum.
That decision had attracted criticism from some Nigerians who demanded a return to status quo of History stand-alone subject.
Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, who spoke at the presentation of the document in Abuja, said the importance of History to nation-building, identity, patriotism and overall human development cannot be over-emphasized.
“This, perhaps, informed our decision to direct the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to disarticulate History Studies from Social Studies curriculum and make it a stand-alone subject that is taught in primary and junior secondary schools.
“The draft copy of the curriculum was approved at the 63rd meeting of the National Council on Education (NCE) in 2017 and the final copy was what has been presented to the public.”
NERDC Executive Secretary Prof. Ismail Junaidu said the objectives of the disarticulated document was to expose students to knowledge that will enable them appreciate History as an instrument of national integration and nation building.
He believed that it will deepen positive understanding of traditional values and identities, as well as similarities and differences between different ethnic groups in Nigeria.
“It is also targeted at promoting the study of Nigerian and African History as a requisite for better understanding and appreciation of challenges of globalisation,” he added.
The Head of Department, History and Diplomatic Studies, University of Abuja, Dr. Philip Afaha, said the document was well researched and developed with regard to Nigeria’s peculiarities.
He, however, countered the report that former President Goodluck Jonathan was responsible for the expunging of History Studies as a subject from the school curriculum.
“I must clarify that former President Jonathan neither participated in the meeting nor authorized the removal of History (Studies) from our basic school curriculum,” he said.
“On the contrary, the success we recorded thus far was as a result of a series of meetings and support we received from former President Jonathan and his predecessors,” Prof. Afaha explained.