History necessary for national rebirth —Experts

The restoration of History as a course of study in schools in Nigeria has been described as an antidote to national rebirth and survival of Nigeria as a nation.

This was the submission of historians from different parts of the country, who gathered at the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo recently at a colloquium organised by the History Department, in collaboration with the Historical Society of Nigeria on the disarticulation of History from Social Studies by the Federal Government.

Addressing the participants, the president of the Historical Society of Nigeria, Professor Chris Ogbogbo, commended the Federal Government for disarticulating History from Social Studies, describing it as a welcome development.

The Professor of History in the University of Ibadan said that “in line with the Federal government’s decision, the Society has developed a curriculum for the study of History from primary one to JSS three, and has also sponsored a bill to the Senate that would make History compulsory in schools at all levels.

He lauded the members of the HSN for their perseverance, doggedness and unrelenting spirit during the struggle for the restoration of History to its pride of place in the school curriculum.

He lamented what he described as wrongful removal of History from the school curriculum, and its inclusion into Social Studies, saying the development had negatively affected the relevance of the subject in the eyes of pupils and students at both the primary and secondary school levels.

While commending the provost of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Professor Olukoya Ogen, for his outstanding leadership qualities, passion and commitment to the progress and advancement of the HSN, he also expressed satisfaction on the level of physical infrastructure and manpower development in the institution.

He used the occasion to announce the conferment of the society’s award of excellence on Professor Ogen.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Professor Ogen commended the HSN for its contributions to national development and resolve at ensuring that History is made compulsory in schools in Nigeria.

He expressed happiness over the decision of the association to choose ACE as the starting point in the South-West for the commencement of discussion on disarticulation of History from Social Studies.

He said the History Department in the College has high level of manpower with large number of PhD holders that could be rated better than their contemporaries in many universities in the country.

Also in their various comments, resource persons at the event, including Professor Ibikunle Tijani, vice president of HSN South -West; Dr V. Olugbemi from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko; Dr Mrs Nike Ajayi from Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Oto-Ijanikin, Lagos; and Dr P. Afaha, Liaison Officer HSN, Abuja office, stressed the need for government to continue to accord recognition to the development of History by making it a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary schools.