-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) -By Albert OGRAKA:
The Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN), established in 1955 to promote an enduring sense of history and historical consciousness amongst the citizenry has expressed its determination to employ digital technology in teaching Nigerian history after 30 years it was expunged from school syllabuses.
This move is coming on the heels of the federal government resolve to reintroduce history subject to the school curriculum since 1986. The Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN), said the body is partnering with the National Assembly (NASS), for a law to back the compulsory teaching of the subject in schools.
The society made the call on Friday, October 4, 2019, at a press briefing, ahead of its 64th conference in Asaba, Delta State capital from Sunday, October 6, 2019 to Wednesday, October 9, 2019, with the theme “Building the Nigerian Nation Since 1914: Motion, Movement and Actors.”
President of the Organization, Prof. Okpeh O. Okpeh (Jnr), insisted that the Society’s aim to vigorously promote, support, strengthen and uphold the study of Nigerian History and historical scholarship is for national integration.
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 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 said the conference would help create more awareness on the essence of history as the syllabus has been cut down to a manageablelevel, adding that the conference would consider the call for restructuring among others which would be debated by nearly 400 professors .
“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 lamented that for three decades History was removed from the curriculum of schools, thereby raising concern that a generation of Nigerians passed through the educational system without the knowledge of their own history.
Prof. Okpeh said the Asaba conference of HSN was important because it is the first time the society will hold its conference outside the ivory tower, pointing out that the decision was well placed.
“Our people need to know how Nigeria came about. You want to look at the issues affecting this nation without putting into the picture the body that has in its custody the history of Nigeria. We are trying to get the National Assembly to make a law returning History to the schools. Everybody needs a deep sense of history in order to understand how we came to be, and where we are,” Prof. Okpeh said.
Contributing, the HSN Vice President, Prof. Sam Aghalino, hinted that the group was holding its conference outside the university system because it decided that it was time it stopped talking to itself, but to reach out to engage the public and tell them about the past. “We need the media to help in this campaign because a nation without history is a rudderless ship,” Aghalino said.