The House of Representatives has thrown out a bill seeking to make history a core subject in the nation’s primary and secondary schools.
Hon. Ayodeji Oladimeji proposed the bill, titled “A Bill for an Act to Make History a Core School Subject in Nigeria’s Primary and Secondary Schools and for other Related Matters”.
But the lawmakers after members raised concerns about the implication of a language in it.
Hon. Oladimeji said he crafted the bill to address widespread ignorance of history in Nigerian schools
“I have a secretary who did not even know anything about former Head of State, Murtala Muhammed. Colleagues, we need to do something about this situation because history is highly essential for nation building.”
However, Hon. Oladimeji’s proposal met an plenty opposition.
Hon Zakari Mohammed said the word ‘core’ in the heading of the bill was problematic. He therefore rejected it from passing a second reading.
“I know it’s important for a people to know their history, but the word ‘core’ in the title of the bill is somehow.”
No Need For Legislation
The lawmakers further stated that the parliament does not need to pass a bill strictly for the purpose of mandating the subject.
They said other key subjects such as English and mathematics are being taught in schools without special legislative backing.
But Hon. Oladimeji said he proposed the bill because he understood that it used to be in Nigeria’s early education curriculum but had since been removed.
According to him, government reportedly removed it from key subjects in schools in 2009.
He said enacting the adoption of history into law should make it stringent for education administrators to expunge from the curriculum.
Nonetheless, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, overruled Mr. Oladimeji’s prayers and urged him to go and rework the bill.
The Clamour For History As A Core Subject
The rejected bill is coming on the heels of relentless calls by stakeholders in the education sector. There has been huge clamour by academics in recent times for history to be restored into the curriculum.
Notable among them was that of Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka. He decried the removal of the subject and feared it could result in a lack of adequate education for teenagers.
“I learnt not so long ago that history has been taken off the curriculum in this country. Can you imagine that? History? What is wrong with history? Or maybe I should ask, what is wrong with some people’s head?”