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Nigeria Reintroduces History in Basic School Curriculum 13 Years after Abolition

3,700 history teachers have been shortlisted for the first round of training to reintroduce the subject.

Nigeria’s federal government has launched the first phase of a teacher training programme to reintroduce history in the basic education curriculum, 13 years after its abolition.

The federal government has initiated the first stage of a teacher training initiative to reintroduce History as a stand alone subject in basic education curriculum. 

The development was announced on Thursday at an inauguration ceremony held in Abuja.

3,700 history teachers have been shortlisted for the first round of training to reintroduce the subject.

During the 2009/2010 session, History was dropped from the core curriculum, which drew harsh criticism. However, in response to the widespread consensus at the time that a nation still developing and coping with certain difficulties could not afford to forget its heritage, the federal government announced a reintroduction of the subject in March 2018.

Speaking at the event on Thursday, Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, who was represented by Goodluck Opiah, Minister of State for Education said:

“History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in our classrooms, but for some inexplicable reasons, the steam of teaching and learning was abolished.”

“As a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combinations our students could offer in both external and internal examinations, compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and secondary levels in Nigeria.

“This single act, no doubt, relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could otherwise have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and we have already started seeing its negative consequences.

“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of civic values, and disconnect from the past.

“More worrisome was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post basic levels of education, which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.”

The minister added that the focus of the re-introduction is the training of teachers in order to enhance capacity development.

 Hamid Boboyi, Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, said the selection of teachers was done on pro rata basis, with 100 teachers each from all the states and the Federal Capital Territory. 

Muhammadu Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto urged traditional rulers to support the step taken by the government.

“We owe it as a duty to encourage research for the documentation of the history of our people, and should be forthcoming in granting access to historical records in our custody,” he added.