{LETTER TO THE EDITOR} Let’s Return History To School Curriculum

 

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.

 

{LETTER TO THE EDITOR} Electricity: Bolorunduro Community Okinni Crying For Help

 

As far back as September 2017, residents of Bolorunduro, Oke Obedu and other neighbouring communities in Okinni, Egbedore Administrative Office have been living in the dark due to the irreparable fault developed by the transformer being used to supply power to the communities.

Residents of the area have contributed money for the repair of the transformer but it was later established that it was irreparable after several efforts had been made.

All efforts to get help from the IBEDC have proved abortive, as it seems that the company is not interested in addressing the problem, eventhough they will later come to collect money for the power consumed by residents.

The ongoing efforts now in the affected communities is the contribution of N5,000 per house for the purchase of another transformer, but it seems that the response has been too slow from the people due to the current economic situation hitting deep on them.

At this stage, we appeal to well meaning individuals and Government officials to help in their capacity, may be interms of donation or facilitation of a transformer to save the people of the area from darkness.

Particularly we appeal to our elected officials like Senator Ademola Adeleke representing Osun West senatorial district; Professor Mojeed Alabi of House of Representatives; the Administrator, Okinni Administrative Office and above all the state government to help.

We are convinced that it is possible for each of those mentioned to help in this regard as we have seen similar demonstrations recently when the Executive Secretary, Ede North Area Council donated a 500KVA transformer to Awere Community, Owode Ede  and Senator Adeleke donated a transformer to a community in Ido Osun.

This is the time to show love to our communities, which would be definitely reciprocated.

  • Ibrahim Babawale, Bolorunduro Zone B, Okinni.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Indiscipline In Schools, Need For Drastic Action

 

In view of lack of indiscipline among some students in secondary schools in Osun State and other part of the country, in spite of the efforts of government, there is need for government to, as a matter of utmost importance take more drastic action, with a view to checking such cases.

A situation whereby a secondary school student will continue to abuse a teacher and as well confront him or her openly is unacceptable and this portray total lack of indiscipline and unruly behavior on the part of the students.

I would  like to suggest the overhauling and restructuring of our education policy by the government and other stakeholders in the education sector as this measure will tend to curb the excess of students to some extent.

It is in my view that the free education policy adopted by some state governments across the country is no longer feasible, as students believe that since they are not paying for their education, they have nothing to lose, forgetting that they are toying with their future.

If school fees are introduced in secondary schools, it would enhance the standard of education, as parents and guardians would be committed to educate their wards on how to behave well in schools and the society at large, while the majority of the students would also have senses of belonging.

Experiences have shown that when you have a level of commitment in terms of payments of fees to the education of your children, you will have ways of continuously educating your children and monitoring their day-to-day activities, which would in turn guarantee discipline among the students.

Besides, the authorities in the education sector must be serious and firm, by ensuring that any student who misbehave is summarily suspended or given immediate expulsion as this will serve as deterrent to others.

I have to also suggest that government should introduce an effective orientation campaign, among the parents guardians and students so as to keep them informed on the importance of education to their future.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Way Out Of Students’ Unrest On Campus

 

Of recent, the growing unrest and indiscipline among students have become matters of great concern. Students’ unrest is not confined to Nigeria alone, it is a worldwide problem.

There are agitations, strike, boycotts of classes etc in schools, colleges, polytechnics, universities and other educational and training institutions now and then, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree is a case study.

Students’ unrest is a great threat to our education system, training programmes and development, as the students gratify in violence, arson and destruction of valuable property. They use unfair means to get through tests and examinations, insult their teachers, threaten their invigilators and abuse other staff members of their institution on any pretext. They want more freedom, rights, be it legitimate or illegitimate.

These undesirable activities and indiscipline seem to have been allowed to go on unchecked, case study of what happened recently in the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke where some members of a confraternity struck and took lives of innocent persons.

If the security agencies refuse to check the activities of these groups, the whole education sector and training system would soon be paralysed. It would penetrate into the very vitals of our national ethos and development, as unrests among students reflect the prevailing dissatisfaction, disillusionment, frustration, dejection and hopelessness.

The students, the serious one with proper orientation and guidance are now frustrated, they feel insecure as far as proper learning environment is concerned.

There are many factors contributing to this dangerous occurrence, ranging from out-dated and defective system of education and examination, rampant corruption among teachers and other members of staff through nasty factors like nepotism, favouritism and bribery.

Therefore, the way forward is that our youths should be kept busy with creative, truthful, relevant, social and academic activities and their minds should never be allowed to remain idle.

Proper employment opportunities should be created for them and there should be no political interference in educational matters, just as the legitimate demands of the student community should be met promptly without any delay.

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Agriculture, Key To Nigeria Development

 

My country, Nigeria is filled with diverse mineral resources and we have grossly enjoyed the proceeds from the sale of crude oil being one of our major revenue. However, Nigeria has continued to make little or no progress in many areas and it has become the dream of the younger generation of the present Nigeria to be part of the nation building in no small measure. I desire that this great country will not continue to live in the midst of plenty and yet suffer from penury. The economy of any country is the base of its development and yet the country has not got it straight on this crucial matter.

Economic issues are real life issues and without increased strength to attain the status of developed or real developing nations, we may continue to live in poverty. What saddens the heart is that many Nigerians are living below one dollar per day and the currency has lost it values. My dream in this regard is to see to the balance of trade that is required for any developing economy. When the imports keep increasing and there is only one major commodity to export we are far from the Nigeria of our dream.

I would encourage the teeming youth to see agriculture as a great ladder towards economic independence because as it stands, Nigeria is yet to be financially liberated.

In addition to the above, industrial development will go a long way to reduce unemployment, encourage entrepreneurship and reduce importation of foreign products.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Incessant Road Accidents On Our Major Roads

One thorny and heart-saddening salient disaster that has become prevalent within the suburb of Osogbo and other neighbouring towns in the State of Osun is the recurrence of road accidents. Much as many encomiums would be directed to the state government for its heavily felt midas touch in the construction and rehabilitation of roads infrastructures, more still need to be done to alleviate this unbecoming disaster that has been on the rise.

Rather than often, barely a day that one wouldn’t witness or hear about a fresh road accident. The rate is quiet alarming as this would only slow down the seeming pace of economic growth in the state. How do we account for a situation whereby able minds in the working class get involved in road accidents due to lackadaisical attitude of road users?

Worthy of commendation is one of the safety net programmes put in place by the government of Osun, the O’Ambulance scheme. This initiative has helped saved many lives due to the quick response health services administered to road accident victims as they are designated and stationed along major routes in the State.

What need be done? Besides the state government’s directive to ban road-side hawking and other business activities, strict measures and punishment should be placed in line for deterring traders. The State House of Assembly should enact and pass such a bill into law.

There should be an awareness campaign by Road Safety Commission and non-governmental organisations for the teeming populace, the major road-users on the need to secure their lives from impending danger that could come to be as a result of bad road usage culture.

Faulty vehicles that break down on the roads should not be left, they should be towed away to a safety haven so as to prevent crash on the highway. Strict punishment should be placed on road traffic defaulters too as I have many times seen fatal accidents caused by this negligible act.

 

  • Oluwafoyo Akanmu.

Kobongbogboe, Osogbo.

(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Lassa Fever Outbreak: An Awareness Campaign

 

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in Nigeria.

Since the beginning of 2018, a total number of 107 suspected Lassa fever cases have been recorded in ten states: Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo and Lagos State.

The illness is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents. Person-to-person transmission can also occur, particularly in hospital environment in the absence of adequate infection control measures. Health care workers in health facilities are particularly at risk of contracting the disease, especially where infection prevention and control procedures are not strictly adhered to.

Lassa fever can be prevented through food and personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation.

Effective measures include storing grain and other food stuff in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintain clean households, and other means of preventing rodents (rats, mice, squirrels, marmots) from entering homes. Hand washing should also be practiced always.

Family members who are providing care for patients with Lassa Fever should take extra care for patients with Lassa Fever. States are also encouraged to ensure safe and dignified burial practises for patients who die from Lassa Fever.

I want to urge the people not to panic, but in case of any noticeable or relative symptoms of the disease, the health officials are the ones to be called upon.

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Political Socialisation And Its Effect On Osun Poll

Skewed opinions are abounded just like commendable accolades have been directed to the major players in the success of the recently concluded council polls.

It is thus rightly essential to give kudos to whom it is due, starting from the state government and its arms therein, the state electoral body (OSIEC), the political parties that participated, election observers, security personnel and the electorates who deemed it fit to troop out en masse to exercise their fundamental human right as this would on the long-run be their voice.

Political socialization took its toll as various awareness programmes embarked upon by OSIEC, Political parties, mass media and non-governmental institutions on the need for eligible voters to obtain their permanent voters card (PVC) so as not to be automatically disenfranchised, as it is their only mouthpiece to drive home their interests by electing the candidate of their choice.

And the electorates on the D-day timely arrived at their respective polling units and they quintessentially displayed high level of decency and composure.

This would have been defective if the efforts of the electoral body (OSIEC) and the security personnel deployed to each polling unit and the Police patrol team monitoring its peaceful conduct of a credible, free and fair election had not yielded results. The electoral materials and officers got to the polling unit on time and in few cases where this could not be, there is an extension in the voting hours so that none of the eligible electorate is disenfranchised.

It is however in our best interest as citizens of the state to actively participate in the political activities of our environment as it is the only ticket through which our will can be interpreted, formulated and implemented.

There is thus the need for governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as the agents of socialization such as the family, schools (formal and informal), religious centres, mass media, etc. to rise to campaign on the benefits of political participation.

These agencies need to jointly put all hands on the deck so that eligible voters of the legally recognized age range would register for their voters’ card as this would help get the better candidate of their choice into power, one that will cater for their welfare and possibly deliver on its manifestoes.

Ergo, as rightful citizens of the state, our PVC is our voice and right.

(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Strike: Osun Workers And Their Commendable Magnanimity

The State of Osun workers’ bodies and their resolution to suspend the strike they recently embarked on is worthy of commendation as it portrays how wonderful, patriotic, dutiful, and sensitive they are. The horrors of the strike would have negatively affected the youthful infrastructure, welfarism, meaningful revolution currently going on in the state.

The cynical dreams and hopes of mediocres were dashed as their expectations that the strike would collapse the Rauf administration’s green revolution and last for at least the next eleven (11) months crushed the crushers.

When late Chief Obafemi Awolowo ruggedly carried out similar socio-economic liberation in the old Western Region, he did not carry the windfalls to Ikenne or to his family backyard.

When Chief Bisi Akande blessed the Osun State with state-of-heart edifice Secretariat at Abere, he did not carry the outputs and the blessings to Ila-Orangun or to his family house.

Today, the two are legends of rare humanity and breeds both in Nigeria and Africa.

Therefore, we need to appreciate the courage of this Ijesa-born and welfarism infrastructural revolutionist for his sterling leadership quality, his strength and ability to turn Osun from crawling state to a flying and blossoming economy; hardly experienced in any state of the federation.

We members of “KOLAPO AGBELE TRUST FUND FOUNDATION (KATRUF)” a newly formed NGO from Atakunmosa West Local Government hereby epitomised the level of understanding of these entire patriotic workers, their sterling leadership bodies that suspended the strike at this stage and time Nigeria is passing through the cloud of dust.

There can be no development without sacrifices and pains. All we need rest on patience, cooperation, courage and endurance to cross the shaky bridge of doom. There is a step further, which is their endurance till the very end.

The current level of growth and development in Osun is far beyond the intelligent scope of power hustlers and mediocres.

And the kind of journey in Osun is not globally new for advanced countries like Japan, South Korea, India etc. that had passed through similar problems in their unending ventures to become a globally admired state today.

We need to give Ogbeni wholesome gratitude which is the best attitude for his sterling performance instead of abuses by the cynical critiques that are not potentially gifted to build but are only blessed to destroy.

Let us join hands to build a “New State of Osun,” where exists beautiful hope for future leaders, generation to generation.

The state government should please abide by the agreement reached with union leaders without any minus.

It is the rightful steps to usher in hope, peace, sanity and continuous progress in the New Year 2018.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Girl Child Education: A 21st Century Necessity

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines Education as a process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools or colleges to improve knowledge and develop skills. It is commonly said that when you educate a girl child you educate a nation.

The essence of the belief is that the girl child will grow up one day to give birth to children who will in turn reproduce younger ones and so on. Hence, education is important in the life of a girl child.

Education can prevent young girls from getting unwanted pregnancy and in most cases know when a man abuse their right without having to be subjected to ridicule in marriage.

Girls who attend primary and secondary schools are more likely to have a say in their choice of life partner and girls who attend tertiary institutions are also able to use more effective methods of family planning and therefore have fewer and healthier babies.

An educated girl and woman would have learnt about HIV/AIDS and know different ways to protect herself from the disease and many others.

Education also teaches young ones the importance of keeping themselves and their houses clean and safe, hence, as their families are healthier, so are the mothers.

Although, the cost of Education could be a bit challenging, but illiteracy is actually more expensive as education pays off in the long run.

At this point, I urge all children to face their education squarely which is paramount for them at their tender age.

I implore the parents to take care of their girl-child and make sure they are educated no matter how hard it is, since there are Government schools for their children to attend.

I therefore urge the government not to cease in sponsoring free education for the sake of indigent Nigerians for the betterment of the young ones.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Political Apathy And Its Consequence In Our Society

 

First and foremost, indifference to political activities and electoral processes have contributed immensely to the problem we are facing in Nigeria today. The situation of political apathy is now becoming heightened and this can have negative effect on the entire society at large.

Political apathy did not just come into existence, but it is triggered by some phenomena among which is the bad political leadership plaguing the country. Most of our political leaders today are not ready to do anything for the society. They are just there to satisfy their selfish interest and to enrich their pocket. Since people are not benefiting from the political system, many have eventually made up their mind not to get involved in voting and other political activities.

The second circumstance that definitely brings about political apathy is the non-fulfilment of promises that were made during their manifestoes. Many people rely on these promises, but they were rather disappointed. People have come to know that all political promises are mere lies and propaganda, and as a result of these, many people are discouraged to participate in politics.

Another fact is that, the way elections are usually being conducted bring about chaos, intimidation, harassment and some other social unrests that created fear in the mind of the electorate and due to all these acts, many have died while others have sustained critical injury. So, I think these also contributed a lot to people’s hatred towards politics.

To ameliorate this issue of political apathy, I would urge our political leaders to change their selfish attitude for good and caring one to better the lots of the society.

Our political leaders should also try to fulfill various promises they made during campaigns and try to restore the confidence people have in them.

I will also implore the people or those that are indifferent to politics and election to get politically socialised and participate because it is our right and obligation as responsible and active members of the nation. Not participating in elections can only worsen the situation because it will breed unqualified and non-eligible representation.