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Historians meet in Ondo, say history only antidote for national rebirth

By Samuel Faleye, Akure

Members of the Historical Society of Nigeria have converged on Adeyemi College of Education in Ondo, saying restoration of history in nation’s educational curricula an antidote to national rebirth.

Addressing the participants, the President Historical Society of Nigeria, (HSN) Professor Chris Ogbogbo commended the Federal Government for disarticulating History from Social Studies describing it as a welcome development.

The University of Ibadan (UI), Professor of History said in line with the Federal Government decision the Society have developed a curriculum for the study of History from primary one to JSS three and also sponsored a bill to the Senate to make History compulsory in schools at all levels.

Ogbogbo said the effort to bring back history commenced during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration , through that of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to the present Mohammadu Buhari’s government.

He lauded the members of the HSN for their perseverance, doggedness and unrelenting spirit during the struggle for the restoration of history to its pride of place in the country’s school curriculum.

The don lamented what he called ‘wrongful’ removal of history from the nation’s school curriculum and its inclusion into social studies, saying this had negatively affected relevance in the eyes of pupils and students at both the primary and secondary school levels.

He noted that history had helped in connecting the present with the past, thereby educating the people and assisting them in acquiring knowledge about their existence and provide means by which conflict resolution could be achieved.

However, he observed that the challenges facing historians in the face of the new development include the need to train and retrain teachers, make history syllabus so light and attractive to pupils and students and how to use history as a means of bonding.

While commending the Provost of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Prof Olukoya Ogen for his outstanding leadership qualities, to the progress and advancement of the HSN, he also expressed satisfaction on the level of physical infrastructure and manpower development in the institution.

He used the occasion to announce the conferment of the society’s award of excellence on Prof. Ogen and disclosed the intention of his association to continue to identify with the College in its development efforts.

Prof Ogen commended the HSN for its contributions to national development and resolve at ensuring that History is made compulsory in schools in Nigeria.

He expressed happiness over the decision of the association to choose ACE as the starting point in the south west for the commencement of discussion on disarticulation of History from Social Studies.

According to him, the History Department in the College has high level manpower with large number of PhD holders that could be rated better than their contemporaries in many universities in the country.

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