History necessary for National Rebirth – Experts

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

This is the submission of historians from different parts of the country who gathered at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo on Friday November 4, 2016 at a colloquium organized by the History Department in collaboration with Historical Society of Nigeria on the disarticulation of History from Social Studies by the Federal Government.

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

The Professor of History, who is the currentHead of the Department of History, University of Ibadan said that the Society has developed a curriculum for the study of History from Primary one to JSS three and also sponsored a bill to the upper Legislative House (Senate) that would make History compulsory in schools.

Professor Ogbogbo said the effort to bring back history commenced in the days of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, through Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration to the present Mohammadu Buhari’s administration.

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 country’s school curriculum.

He added that history helps in connecting the present with the past, thereby educating the people and assisting them in acquiring knowledge about their existence and it has the capacity of providing strategies by which conflict resolution could be achieved.

He, however, observed that the challenges facing historians in the face of the new development include the need to train and retrain teachers and make history syllabus so light and attractive to students. Most significantly, Prof. Ogbogbo underscored the usefulness of history for the attainment of national unity.

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 Prof. Ogen and disclosed the intention of his association to continue to identify with the College in its development efforts.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Provost, Professor Ogen commended the HSN for its contributions to national development and its effort 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 a high level of manpower with several number of PhD holders.

He dropped the hint of Carnegie sponsored African Diaspora Exchange Programme won by the institution recently and the coming of a Professor Bridget Teboh from the University of Massachusetts in the United States of America stating that the development would go a long way in adding values to the intellectualdevelopment of the institution.

Also in their various comments, resource persons which include Prof. Ibikunle Tijani, Vice President, HSN south west; Dr. (Mrs) V. Olugbemi from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko; Dr. Mrs Nike Ajayi from Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Oto Ijanikin; Dr. P. Afaha, Liaison Officer HSN, Abuja office stressed the need for government to continue to accord recognition to the development of History by ensuring that it becomes a compulsory subject in both primary and secondary schools.

In addition, they also appealed to the government to make for members of HSN to be made administrators of historical sites and monuments stating that it would enhance national development and promote patriotism.

They, however, stressed the need for training and retraining of History teachers, with more emphasis on methodology saying the step would make the subject more interesting and appealing.

The programme held at the History Library in the College had in attendance Prof. Akin Olorunfemi, members of National Council of HSN, Lecturers from ACE History Department as well as the Head, Information and Public relations Unit, ACE Mr. Moses Akinfolarin among others.

The high point of the event was the decoration of the Provost, Professor Ogen and donations of books to the History Departmental Library by the President of HSN, Prof. Chris Ogbogbo.