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Reinstating History in schools curriculum

One of the tragedies of any nation is to expunge the study of history from its schools curriculum. Of course, the consequence of such shortsightedness has always been deleterious to say the least. That is why we are worried at the recent observation  by renowned author, Prof. Anezionwu Okoro, over the long delay in restating the study of History in Nigeria’s secondary school.
Okoro who made the observation in Enugu at the inaugural of the Board of Trustees of Coal City Literature Forum, lamented that no country can develop without history. We totally agree with Prof. Okoro’s position and call on the authorities to immediately restore the study of the subject in our schools in order to avail the present and future generations the opportunity of knowing the their country’s history.
It beats the imagination to understand why any society worth its salt would abrogate the study of such a vital source of knowledge from its students. Question is how does a country proceed without knowledge of past events, including those of its heroes and heroines? It bears restating that History is not just a study of events and dates; it provides analytical insights into social formations, anthropological developments, inventions and innovations that shape humanity.
The roles of history in governance, conflict resolutions, diplomacy and international relations, science and medical studies, technological developments, advancement of civilisations and human relations cannot be overemphasised. Moreover, History provides a frame of reference that enables us to recognise dangers to our society, both from within and externally, and provides guidance as to how to deal with those dangers when they arise. It is said, that he who controls the past controls the future.
Our view of history shapes the way we view the present, and therefore it dictates what answers we offer for existing problems. Far from being a ‘dead’ subject, History connects things through time and encourages its students to take a long view of such connections. There is no denying that history offers a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave. Consequently, history must serve, however imperfectly, as our laboratory, and data from the past must serve as our most vital evidence in the unavoidable quest to figure out why our complex species behaves as it does in societal settings.
Fundamentally, we cannot stay away from history, as it offers the only extensive evidential base for the contemplation and analysis of how societies function, and people need to have some sense of how societies function simply to run their own lives. History also provides a terrain for moral contemplation. Studying the stories of individuals and situations in the past allows a people to test their own moral sense, and to hone them against some of the real complexities individuals have faced in difficult settings.
The study of History also helps provide identity, and this is unquestionably one of the reasons all modern nations encourage its teaching in some form. People who have weathered adversity not just in some work of fiction, but also in real, historical circumstances can provide inspiration.
Therefore, we cannot afford to continue as if we are a people who care little about our past. A people who do not know where they are coming from, how can they truly know where they are headed?

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