The Director-General of the Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB), Mr Biodun Onayele, has applauded the Federal Government’s plan to reintroduce history in the curriculum of schools.
Onaleye told a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that removal of history from school’s curriculum was a sad development for Nigeria.
According to him, the disregard for history in the education system is responsible for the current decadence in the country.
He argued that sense of patriotism for the average Nigerian was distorted with the nation’s history being relegated to the background.
Onayele said that in the past, history commanded respect and when people read the story of great Nigerians like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Obafemi and how they became heroes, they were challenged to become passionate for their heritage.
“Our forefather’s legacies have been a source of inspiration to some people who read their adventures.
“Some do not know what these heroes of Nigeria did and how they made use of their potential to become patriotic citizens and heroes of the country.
“Some citizens do not even know the history of their family’s existence or the history of their grandfathers because they have lost track of their history. This is sad and painful.
“Our sense of heritage is lost and again let us ask ourselves, do we even have history teachers?,’’ Onaleye asked.
He said that on his part, he would do all he could to ensure the reintroduction of history in Lagos State schools.
The director-general said that LASRAB had decided to embark and focus more on record accessioning as a way of keeping records of communities in the state.
He explained that records accessioning and preservation meant surveying and acquisition of non-current records of the Lagos State’s ministries, departments and agencies for preservation with the bureau.
“We are looking into communities now and trying to encourage them to write their own history by themselves and to bring it to us to keep in our archives.
“It is not our business to find out which version is the best, ours is to bring them together and interpret them for future purposes,’’ Onaleye said.
NAN recalls that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, had said that the Federal Government was taking steps to restore history as a subject in primary and secondary schools.
Adamu made the announcement when he featured at a NAN forum in Abuja.
In 2007 the Federal Government unveiled a curriculum known as the New Basic Education Curriculum for Primary and Junior Secondary Schools, removing history.
Government said the curriculum sought to correct abnormalities of the previous one, which was believed to be lacking in the areas of human capacity development.
It said that the previous curriculum was lacking in the area of poverty eradication and in the country’s quest for total emancipation as an independent entity.
But Adamu faulted the removal of history studies from primary and secondary schools curriculum, which became effective from the 2009/2010 academic session.
“I believe this government is going to return history back to the curriculum. Somebody, who doesn’t know his history is even worse than dead.
“So, this government is going to bring back history.
“It would even be better if we study local history first. You have to know who you are before you can be anything in this world,’’ the minister stated. (NAN)