The President of Historic Society of Nigeria has advocated that History should be taught at the Junior Secondary School level in Nigeria.
“For about 32 years now, history has been removed from our classrooms particularly the Primary and the Junior Secondary Schools which implies that there is a national loss of memory particularly with regards to the youths,” Professor Christopher Ogbogbo said, while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“A good number of our leaders have displayed serious lack of historical consciousness; who we put in office, what policy they carry out should be informed by our historical experience as a people.”
Professor Ogbogbo said that the Society had been working on bringing back History to the Junior Secondary School level.
“The Society had last year (2014), met with former President, Gooduck Jonathan and he gave the directive that history be returned to the Junior Secondary Schools.
“We have since then, tried to engage the necessary government parastatals to make sure that history is brought back,” he said, explaining further that returning History to the schools would directly impact on the average Nigerian youth.
The Professor of History stated that if History were taught in schools, the country would have better public officers who have in-depth understanding of the history Nigeria.
“I am one of the Nigerians who believe that the sense of history will certainly impact positively on the quality of leadership we have gotten so far and the quality of followership”, he emphasised.
Professor Ogbogbo also stressed that the lack of History teachers does not militate against the policy making aspect of the country.
“The Department of History have sufficient students who studied History.
“When a government gets its policies right, the educational institutions and the citizens will react to that policy.
“Government policy has a way of impacting negatively on the study of History if the policy does not encourage the discipline an individual wants to study”, he said.
Giving his opinion about the list of ministerial nominees which was sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ogbogbo said, “I discovered that since 1960, we have been recycling the same group of people.
“If as a people, we have not moved as fast as we ought to move politically, we need to get new people on board in order to move us forward,” reaffirming his earlier stance with the view that lack of historical consciousness could also lead to the trend of recycling the same group of people to vie for a position.
He, however, added, “If a leader proves to be very good, it will not be a problem getting him to perform some other functions.”
The Historic Society of Nigeria, according to Professor Ogbogbo, was set up in 1955 to promote the study of History and encourage historical consciousness among the citizens of the country.