Stakeholders want history back in national curriculum
Reintroducing history as a subject in schools and promoting indigenous languages among Nigerian youths were part of issues that dominated discussions at the 2015 Advocacy for Inclusive Education Summit (ADIES).
Organised by the Unveiling Africa (UVA) in partnership with The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, the summit explored extensively, the implication of neglecting history, inclusive education and indigenous languages.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UVA, Chizoba Imoka stressed the imperative of engaging key stakeholders on the issue because according to her, “without a strong sense of identity, knowledge of history and positive valuation of the Nigerian culture, the next generation will be ill-equipped to provide the much-needed transformative and culturally responsive leadership.”
Other participants who spoke at the forum expressed worries that the Nigerian culture and identity was on the verge of extinction. They cautioned parents and schools against allowing international curricula to erode the Nigerian culture.
In their respective presentations, the panelists advised that Nigerian culture should be given prominence, while international culture should only play complementary role, instead of the other way.
The issue of inaccessibility of schools for students living with disabilities and developmental challenges, as well as lack of capacity amongst teachers to support such students were also parts of the talking points.
The speakers, however, charged government and private school owners to include people living with disabilities in their schools programme during academic and physical planning.
The panelists included, CEO of Leading Learning Limited, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo; representative from the Curriculum Development Services Department, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. Olufunke Oyetola; Mr. Adebola Williams of Red Media Africa; Mr. Okechukwu Ofili; Ms. Lara Oriye of Falana & Falana Chambers, Mrs. Iyabo Awokoya of Sage Consults and Ms Amanda Kirby Okoye amongst other.
A communiqué issued at the end of the summit recommended that history should be taught from the primary school and sustained for every student through out secondary school regardless of his/her area of specialisation.
In bringing history back into the schooling system, the communiqué recommended that the focus should be on assessing learning as opposed to passing examinations. “Aptitude in history should not be graded for a score. History should be taught in a relatable, practical and personal way.”
The forum also recommended that the number of examinations students have to write before gaining admission into higher institution must be reduced.