December 8, 2022

Why we re-introduced history at basic level – Minister

Why we re-introduced history at basic level – Minister

Minister of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah on Thursday said the decision to re-introduce history is another important milestone in revamping education sector beginning from the basic level of teaching and learning.

Rt. Hon. Opiah who represented the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu stated this during the officially flag-off of the re-introduction of the Teaching of History and the commencement of the the training of History Teachers at the basic educational level.

According to the release signed by Sir Kelechi Mejuobi, the SA Media & Public Affairs to the Minister of State for Education, and made available to DAILY POST, “this ceremony marks the laying of another sustainable foundation for our educational system and further expands our opportunities for building resilience through an initiative that will inculcate in our young the knowledge of where they are coming from.

“History used to be one of the foundation subjects taught in our classroom but for inexplicable reasons, the stream of teaching and learning was abolished forcing it to be expunged from the list of subject combination students could offer in both external and internal examinations compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and senior secondary levels in Nigeria.”

On reasons the subject was re-introduced, the Minister argued that “history underlies approach and methods deployed in addressing our current day challenges, especially with insecurity.

“We would naturally use historical narratives with the application of experience resulting from causes of events to solutions by using homegrown solutions. This is ordinarily centered on our ethnic, heritage, cultural host, multicultural influences within our peculiar communities which derive from our common origins.

“Such an entrenched teaching and learning provide the opportunity for appreciating antecedents that extol the great deeds of our past heroes, their sacrifices and contributions to creating the foundation for an indivisible nation. It is in doing this that we remember and celebrate monumental achievements, memorable dates, events, names, and every event of historical significance.”

Expressing further on the return of history at the basic education level, Opiah added, “this occasion today reminds us that it is not too late to rediscover and expose our next generations to the historical development of their fatherland and begin to conscientize them on the prevention of pitfalls and how to avoid repetition of past mistakes and failures. This will help them reconnect with the past. This can be done through the documentation of facts and figures by teaching and learning history as a subject.”

Opiah further added that the need to exploit the lost original African tradition of story-telling, which used to capture and teach values, morals, folklore and most of our oral history can’t be divorced from reasons why the subject has to return.

“This development has pushed us to a point where the study of history has to be brought back to enhance our understanding of how events occurred in the past, how this knowledge can shape our interactions in the present and define what we bequeath to our future generations,” he said.

He added that, “It is logical that if history underlies approach and methods deployed in addressing our current day challenges, especially with insecurity, we would naturally use historical narratives with the application of experience resulting from causes of events to solutions by using homegrown solutions. This is ordinarily centered on our ethnic heritage, cultural history, multicultural influences within our peculiar communities which derive from our common origins.”

On how the new program will excel, the Minister of State for Education offered; “In re-introducing the teaching and learning of history, government is not only concerned about the learners, but hopes to pay particular attention to the teachers who will impart the knowledge. Therefore, training and retraining of these teachers in order to enhance their capacity development that will lead to the mastery of the subject will be a focus of this re-introduction.”

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