Experts want government to return study of history

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Some public policy experts have called on the Federal Government, especially the National Assembly to restore and make the study of history, a compulsory subject at both elementary and secondary levels.

In a communiqué on ‘Nigeria In The Twentieth Century: History, Governance And Society’ after a book reading held at the Ibadan School of Government And Public Policy (ISGPP), the experts said the removal of subject from the curricular of secondary education in Nigeria was antithetical to the prospects for nation building and national development.

The book was edited by Prof. Olutayo Adesina of the Department of History, University of Ibadan (UI) during an event chaired by Ambassador Ayo Olukanni.

The communiqué said: “Government needs to restore and possibly make the study of history mandatory at both elementary and secondary levels of education in Nigeria.”

The experts also deliberated on the reconstruction of Nigerian history especially as it relates to the contemporary socio-political developments, including the fact that the book was primarily to interrogate the conjectures and trajectory of Nigeria’s historical evolution from pre-colonial to modern times.

Another suggestion made in the communiqué for policy formulation is that a centennial history project that captures the social, political, economic, physical and cultural development of Nigeria should be embarked upon by the government and historians, so as to define the most important developmental challenges and chart a course for development planning and implementation for Nigeria ahead of the next century.

They added that the full potentials of Nigeria’s federal structure would be maximally realised if adequate and timely attention is paid to the alignment of intra-governmental relations along the principles of greater devolution of powers and fiscal independence which potentially strengthens financial autonomy of states and promotes a greater sense of national identity among the peoples of Nigeria.

“The communiqué also emphasised the need to widen the scope, processes and means of Historical Knowledge production, translation and communication and inclusion and integration of producers of non written intellectual formats such as audio and audiovisual productions as well as cultural distillation avenues of films, theatres and music” said the communiqué in part.

In his remark, Executive Vice-Chairman, ISGPP, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, said, “While other Readers Clubs are addressing the basic literacy side of the poor reading culture, ISGPP’s Readers Club events will strive to provide platforms to interrogate the information and knowledge gaps in Nigeria’s future possibilities, leveraging problem-solving documented ideas, frameworks, models, paradigms and researched insights, to deepen issues and conversation that have critical bearing on the Nigerian and African condition.”

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