Professor Abdulraheem Yusuf at the Department of Social Sciences Education, faculty of Education, University of Ilorin has stressed the need to include Social Studies curriculum at all levels of education system in the country as a means of inculcating and cultivating discipline among the citizens
Professor Yusuf made the call at the 223rd inaugural lecture of the University entitled ‘ Socialising or Civicising The Citizens: The Quandary Of A Failing Nation” held at the University Auditorium
He Said” A discipline citizen observes the laws of the land without being noticed and adheres to solid moral principles like obedience, honesty, integrity, probity, loyalty and trustworthiness. Thus, the teaching of Social Studies is a process through which one learns to comprehend Values, rights and responsibilities as a member of the society.
” Nigeria should carefully consider reinstating Social Studies as a curriculum that is required at all educational level. It is crucial to stress that just fragmenting and restricting Social Studies to specific themes will not lead to more and better education. It’s like trying to handle today’s issues with tools from yesterday in the hopes of opening for business tomorrow! he added.
“It is important to understand that current system may not be a good fit for educational systems, programmes, techniques and logistics that were successful for an elite class in the past. In the light of this, it is vital to examine, update and renew the curriculum. We want to show how Social Studies can help us achieve the objectives of nationhood. Social Studies become a tool through education that allows us to master rather than be subject to our circumstances and culture” he added.
” What Nigeria currently needs is a value reorientation based on an indigenous cultural system, guided by careful application of the egalitarian principle and fed by a system based on the philosophy of communal and national survival.
We need to socialize than civicise if Nigeria must attain sustainability in her quest for development” he said.
In his recommendation, the University Don said Social Studies should be reintroduced, taught effectively and diligently studied at all levels of education for the country to grow into a vibrant country and realize the principles of a just and egalitarian society as the teaching of Social studies at all levels of education is the answer.
“As a professional, I humbly submit that, under the Social Studies Curriculum, the current National Value Education Curriculum in Senior Secondary School cannot prepare Nigerian youths and children to be aware of their social and physical environments, train them to develop appropriate values and skills and contribute to national development. I can therefore assume that the chaotic and fragmented delivery of Social Studies is to blame for many of the nation’s current aberrant behaviors among the youth. This fragmentation explains the difficulties that History and Government instructors, Mass Communication graduates and others experience while attempting to teach Values as though the subject does not require professional training. In order to ensure adequate and appropriate socialization of individuals, I submit that Social Studies should be made a core subject at all levels of education and be taught by Social Studies expert.”
He also urged teachers to expose students to many instructional strategies that promote and encourage social interaction, active engagement in learning, self-motivation, discovering learning, learning by doing and learning by experience added that teachers who are qualified and competent should be hired to teach Social Studies in schools
” Social Studies teachers should create awareness, be modest and lead by example in and out of school since they are role models for their students. They should create avenue and enlighten the public about the rots in the society through media discussions, seminar, workshops and conferences both nationally and internationally.
Social Studies teachers should work together and share experiences through conference and adopt the best practices thereby enriching the teaching of the subject at all levels in Nigeria.”
He noted that in Social Studies, the teacher-centerd approach should be discontinued, but lessons should be made both interactive and participatory. There should be a variety of methods and strategies utilized while teaching Social Studies and not just a method.
” The Social Studies Curriculum must be reviewed on a regular basis to account for change in Society, content and techniques to meet the changes requirements of individuals and the nation.
“Teaching of Social Studies at all levels of education will lead to retracing of the lost path to holistic nationhood, which is already developing a tick forest and preventing Nigeria from progressing” he said