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How important is Nigerian history to Nigerians?

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

History as it stands isn’t properly taught from the foundations of the Nigerian educational system. A high percentage of Nigerians do not know their history thus, leading to an Identity crisis, as Nigerians tend to identify by their cultural identity rather than a national identity.

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

For 13 years, History was totally removed from the basic educational curriculum in Nigeria, this was done by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua-led government in 2009 with an excuse that students were avoiding it due to a lack of jobs and was only reintroduced in the year 2022.

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

As a graduate of history and also international studies, I can attest to the narrow curriculum or course in detail, available for students even in the higher institution as a lot of emphasis is sometimes spent learning more about European histories, such as Great Britain, Spain, Portugal as well as American history and the world at large, than the Nigerian history before and after independence, especially before independence. However, there have been some concerns about the quality of history education in Nigeria. Some experts have pointed out that history textbooks in Nigeria often lack accuracy and are biased towards certain ethnic groups and political ideologies. Additionally, there may be a lack of emphasis on critical thinking and analysis in history classes.

youtube shorts by oreva on the importance of history for Nigerians

Furthermore, there have been reports of some schools and teachers neglecting history teaching, especially in primary schools, due to a focus on more “practical” subjects like mathematics and science. This could lead to a lack of understanding and appreciation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and historical achievements among younger generations.

Image by Denis Azarenko from Pixabay

It is a challenge since students in Nigeria tend to know more about other Western countries’ histories than we do about our own, since despite travelling across a number of European countries, few people are knowledgeable about Africa, let alone Nigeria, since Africa is generally regarded as a country to many of them.

The history of Nigeria explained in 6 minutes (3,000 Years of Nigerian history)

As a fundamental part of basic education, history must be made compulsory, so that the citizens of our country have a deeper understanding of their historical context and so that they are able to understand the present better. 

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