Return of History subject: We’re ready, but need more teachers ― NUT, School owners
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the private school owners across the country have indicated their readiness to start the teaching of History as a re-introduced independent and compulsory subject, by the federal government, for primary and junior secondary school students nationwide starting from September.
They said government, for the first instance, ought not to have removed the subject for any reason from the curriculum, especially at that level of education, arguing that history is the foundation of knowledge and life, linking one generation to another.
Speaking in exclusive and separate conversations with Tribune Online when asked for their levels of preparedness for the subject, the Secretary-General of NUT, Dr Mike Ene; President of National Association of Private School Proprietors (NAPPS), Dr Bolujoko Sally and her counterpart in League of Muslim School Proprietors (LEAMSP), Mr Abdul Wahid Obalakun and the immediate past National President of Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), Mrs Esther Dada, said their members were much ready to go back to class to start teaching their students the subject.
They said the importance of history to national identity, civic responsibility, patriotism, nation building and overall human development could not be quantified.
According to Ene’s NUT, the law of morality says if you don’t know where you are coming from, it will be difficult to know where exactly you are going and that is the situation about history in any society.
“For us as NAPPS, we believe that if you want to suffer a nation, take it away from its history,” Sally noted.
For their own submission, LEAMSP’s Obalakun said “Removing history is like asking you to forget your root and yet, you want to forge ahead and we don’t know how possible is such without first looking at the past, compare it with the present and then plan for the future.”
“And that is why Nigerian children of nowadays don’t know our heroes and heroines and where we are coming from let alone comparing it with the present nor where we are going as a nation,” Mrs Dada of schools serving the low-income segment of the society, quipped.
However, while they all revealed that they had qualified and competent history teachers already on ground to take classes, Mr Ene of NUT opened up that various state governments would need to employ more teachers not only for history but also for various other subjects, especially sciences and for schools in rural communities.
“We don’t have enough teachers across board and this is very obvious and more disturbing in science-related subjects and in schools in the villages and we have been clamouring for more teachers with most state governments refused to employ any in the last four or more years,” Mr. Ene noted. “So, the government should employ additional teachers from many of the qualified education graduates roaming the streets for job for years.”
He, however, put teacher\students ratio on the average in public schools in cities and township at one to 50 while in rural communities at one to 70, saying such condition would continue to hinder effective teaching and learning as well as education and economic development in the country.
On their parts, NAPPS, LEAMSP and AFED, said even though, they had fewer students\teacher ratio in their schools when compared to public schools, they would not hesitate if required to employ more hands to teach history.