Times were, when secondary school students could paint actual pictures of Songhai Empire, Mali Empire, Old Oyo empire, Borno Empire with words.
All these were made possible in the past when History was part of the subjects in the secondary school curriculum. All that changed when government in its wisdom, took a decision to delist History as a stand-alone subject of study in the primary and secondary schools.
It was then argued in some quarters that students were no longer attracted to the subject and not willing to pursue it as a degree course in the university.
History is simply defined as the study of the past. It attempts to discover, collate and interpret data or information for future plans. Therefore, with history, cultural values, ethos and civilisation were preserved.
Despite civilisation, it is not possible to graduate from a college in some European countries without studying European History. Not a few Nigerians have expressed reservation about this development.
Therefore, there had been clamours and concerns expressed by several groups in open debates for the re-introduction of the teaching of History as an independent subject and not as a mere appendage of other subjects at primary and secondary school levels.
However, the Federal Ministry of Education recently developed its plan on “Education for change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan (2016-2019)”, which contains several initiatives and activities to be executed including the disarticulation of social studies and the reintroduction of the teaching of History in primary and secondary schools. The plan document was approved by the National Council of Education to start the process of disarticulating history from social studies.
Thus, save for the Lagos state government which took up the gauntlet using the state house of assembly to ensure the return of History as a subject, the Federal government has yet to come up with a decision on this.
This is a wake-up call for all the concern stakeholders on education to wake up from their slumber and bring back history to curriculum. The roles of History in governance, conflict resolutions, diplomacy and international relations, science and medical studies, technological development, nation building and human relations are vital.
History has a unique position in African societies and was prominent as a subject for the preparation and training of the citizen. Therefore village heads, parent and older siblings and others from the level of the nuclear family helped to transfer history from generation to generation.