Nigerian playwright and essayist, Wole Soyinka, says anytime he recalls that history was removed from Nigerian school curriculum, he always feels like strangling the Minister that called for the ejection.
The award-winning poet expressed his feeling while speaking at the United Bank Of Africa (UBA) 2019 panel discussion on the topic; Africa’s History Redefined: our past, a path to the future. Africa’s History Redefined: our past, a path to the future.
Recall that the Federal Government officially ejected history from its basic school curriculum in 2007, making it an elective instead of a core subject at senior secondary level.
Following this action, Soyinka at the panel discussion disclosed how he felt when he came to the knowledge of the change in curriculum.
“When I returned from one of my stretched outside, I discovered purely by accident that history has been taken out of our school curriculum I couldn’t believe it.
“I was in Lagos at a time; I remember asking Fashola if it was true that in your schools as a governor, you don’t teach history here?
“He said what happened is that at the federal level, some minister decided that this nation did not need history or that it was impossible to teach history, books were not available, or teachers were not available some garbage. And this fellow was a minister in this country.
“A lot of crime is done to our children and our advancement. It’s questionable that these things happen and we allow them to go on for so long that our children grow up intellectually truncated.
“A huge part of their brain is unused because certain facts are not available to them. They do not even know where the existence begins.
“I won’t say more than that because each time I think of it, honestly I want to go look for that minister and strangle him or her. I have no idea who it was.”
Meanwhile in 2018, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, announced the reintroduction of History Studies in the Nigerian school curriculum for primary and junior secondary levels.
Other panelists present at the event were Professor Djibril Tamsir Niane from Cameron, Samia Nkrumah from Ghana, Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu and Nigerian Musician Femi Kuti.