THE Federal Government has dismissed fears being expressed in some quarters that the reintroduction of History as a separate subject will overload the current nine-year basic education curriculum.
It says the teaching of History in schools will commence next year, and that it is set to introduce positive changes in education in a way that would enhance the socio-economic development of the country.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, disclosed these while flagging off the disarticulation of the History from Social Studies curriculum for the Basic Education in Nigeria.
He said History is a critical subject that cannot be subsumed under Social Studies.
Adamu noted that the Federal Government is aware of the importance of History and the need for its continuous inclusion and reinforcement in the curriculum, especially at this time in the history of Nigeria.
According to him, the study of History will enable learners become well enlightened citizens of the society who respect diversity and strive for attainment of the unity of Nigeria as one indivisible entity.
He further spoke of the need to inculcate positive values of service, morality, discipline, courage, nationalism and patriotism as shown by the history of the nation’s heroes and heroines.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Professor Ismail Junaidu, explained that separating History from Social Studies as a stand-alone subject would not overload the 9-year Basic Education curriculum.
He said necessary adjustment would be made to the curriculum in order to create period for teaching of History, and that the subject must be given prominence in schools, especially at a period of national rebirth being pursued by the current administration.
Junaidu also disclosed that there are enough teachers to teach the subject, since History is being offered at the tertiary education level.
He recalled that the National Council on Education (NCE), the highest policy making body in education in Nigeria, had at its 61 Ministerial Session of September, 27th-30th, approved the disarticulation of History from the Social Studies curriculum, to be taught as a separate subject in both primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria.
President, Historical Society of Nigeria, Professor, Chris Ogbogbo, said History should occupy prime position in the basic education curriculum because every Nigerian child must have good knowledge of the history of the country after spending nine years in school.
He said: “Basically, the challenges will have to do with retraining the teachers. Yes. The facts of it are clear, but the interpretation we give to it matters. We need to have a workshop to retrain the teachers with regard to what kind of interpretation we should be giving to our history.
“There are challenges of textbooks to be written; we already have a proposal before the Minister of Education and Tertiary Education Trust Fund with regard to production of History textbooks for Nigerian history.”