Debates, Resources

SHOULD HISTORY BE COMPULSORILY INCLUDED IN PRE-TERTIARY CURRICULUM? BY Olanema David

SHOULD HISTORY BE COMPULSORILY INCLUDED IN PRE-TERTIARY CURRICULUM? No!

Ladies and gentlemen, it is said, that the best way to deal with a stubborn child is to teach him a lesson. But for these ones, it will take three lessons.

Lesson 1: The teachers.

According to an interview by the bbc 21st of June 2019, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) claimed that they were lacking both the required number and quality of teachers to teach history. But what the government did was to encourage the NUT to make use of teachers that taught social studies and civic-education. Now, that was the first mistake made on quality because the fact that you can teach social-studies or civic-education doesn’t mean you qualify to teach history. Besidesaccording to worldeconomicforum.org only a small number of people are interested in studying history education in tertiary institutions in the first place not because history has not been included in the curriculum but simply because they find history to be a less interesting course to study, so making history compulsory will mean more available students and fewerteachers. This will then go against the National Policy of Education’s recommended ratio of 1 teacher to 25 students to probably a ratio of 1 teacher to 250 students. With all these, even the history taught in class-rooms becomes a mystery lost in the misery of teacher- inadequacy. So unless the Faculty of Law students are willing to forfeit their degrees to become history teachers, they should note that their stance will forever lack substance.

Lesson 2: Value

We from the faculty of education understand that learning history comes with a lot of value. In fact, according to allafrica.com, history makes us understand the political, cultural and religious dispensation of Nigeria. But while this is true, technology, being of great value to the world is also a fact.Technology, built and lighted up this lecture theatre, infact, boththe sense and the nonsense said by my opponents have all still been amplified by technology. But irrespective of this, we don’t make physics compulsory for all students at pre-tertiary level.That is because it is those who understand and is willing to pursue the value of technology that go on to study subjects likephysics.Therefore, the subject history, can be better appreciated by those who understand and is willing to use its value, these ones grow up to become historians, archaeologists. So if it is because of value, my opponents should note that every subject has value but it is not made compulsory because of one thing, specialization.

Lesson 3: Compulsory Subjects

According to waecnigeria.org, compulsory subjects are specific subject combinations which are required for students because they form the basis for further studies and are a requirement for specific fields of study. This only goes to show that a subjectbears the title, compulsory because it is a requirement for further studies. So the only way my opponents will be right in today’sdebate is if they come to prove how the stories of Jaja of Opobo,the rise and fall of Abacha and even other stories that touch is a relevant requirement to study engineering or medicine. But if they can’t proof it’s relevance, then everything they have said today is irrelevant.

In conclusion, we from the faculty of education are saying history should not be compulsorily included in the Nigerian pre-tertiary curriculum but we don’t mind, if it can be included in jaw war, because when my opponents loses this debate, it will go down in history.