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Organization Seeks Legislation On History Teaching In Nigeria

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Following the approval of the federal government to reintroduce the teaching of history back to the curriculum, the Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN), said the body is partnering with the National Assembly (NASS), for a law to back the teaching of the subject in schools.

In a briefing on Friday in Asaba, to herald a 3-day conference of the body, the President of the Organization, Prof. Okpeh O. Okpeh (Jnr), hinted that the idea behind the move was to halt future attempts to stop the teaching of the subject.

Prof. Okpeh, who was flanked by the Vice President of the association, Prof. Sam Aghalino, who doubles as the chairman of the planning committee and the Assistant Secretary of HSN, Dr. Dave Imbua, said: "we want the National Assembly to legislate on the matter so that anybody will not wakeup tommorow and stop the teaching of the subject".

He disclosed that since the advocacy to return history back to school, the organization has been working underground to ensure that textbooks on history were written awaiting the approval.

"We sent a cracked team of historians to develop books that our children wil use for nine years", revealing that the historical society of Nigeria, is also making deliberate efforts to see that the teaching and learning of history are digitalized in form of cartoon network to facilitate easy learning.

"This books are available on the basis of certain agreement approved by the ministry of education. We want to employ different technologies to reduce history to cartoon network where our children will easily catch up. We are working with experts to deliver history to our children, calling for training for history teachers, "the history we teach, is history for nation building", he stressed.

While lamenting that since 1986, the teaching of history was removed from the syllabus, the history of the people especially the country has suffered setbacks, Prof. Okpeh, assured that there are new books to be injected into the system.

He disclosed that the conference was also to create more awareness on the essence of history as the syllabus has been cut down to a manageable level.

He noted that the conference would consider the call for restructuring among others which would be debated by erudite professors and come up with a communique, "our resolutions are very effective. We have been able to fight to bring back the teaching of history to schools.

"We are interested as an organization to throw our weights behind the debate. We hope that at the end of the the conference, a communique will come out to address the yearnings of Nigerians. The way the county is managed over the years, cannot continue", he said.

He said the historical society of Nigeria is to promote historical values, engage in research and publications, saying that the country need to go back to history.