*says it will assist in stemming social vices acurrently bedevilling Nigeria
By; AYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Social Studies Educationists Association of Nigeria (SSEAN), on Friday asked the Federal Government to through its relevant curriculum development agencies, consider the urgent need to return Social Studies into the school curriculum as a holistic/integrated subject and with relevant updates, to attend to the needs of the contemporary times.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the association’s 36th Annual National Conference (VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 2020) with the theme ” Value Education in a Plural Society: Treading the Holistic Path” signed by its President, Professor AbduRaheem Yusuf.
SSEAN in the communique also called for “a quick intervention in the form of the revision of the curriculum of Social Studies and bringing it up-to-date with our nationhood requirements and global best practice”, adding that this “will assist in stemming the tide of division and other social vices that are currently bedevilling our Nation, Nigeria”,
“We strongly believe that this would lead to a retrace of the lost path to a holistic nationhood that is already growing tick forest and making forward movement a nightmare for Nigeria. By this, we mean a deliberate revision made by the relevant bodies, in collaboration with experts in Social Studies that we are, will make Nigeria to achieve the general goal of using education as an instrument par excellence to achieve holistic national development as spelt out in the National Policy on Education”, it said.
SSEAN maintained “as a professional Association, we hereby request that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through its relevant curriculum development agencies: considers the urgent return of Social Studies into the school curriculum as a holistic/integrated subject and with relevant updates, so as to attend to the needs of the contemporary times;
“Introduce Social Studies as a replacement for Civic Education at the Senior Secondary Schools or make Social Studies an elective to Civic Education to justify the training of teachers for Social Studies at the Colleges of Education and the Universities; and actively involve our professional organisation (Social Studies Educationists Association of Nigeria) in further development and revision of the Social Studies programme as a whole subject and not a fragment as it currently operates in the schools in the forms of National Value Education (at the UBE Level) and Civic Education at the Senior Secondary Schools.”
It noted “this years conference focuses on various issues that we have observed as professionals regarding the teaching and learning of Social Studies in our educational institutions”, adding, “since the disarticulation of religious subjects from Religion and National Values Education Curriculum, to form the National Value Education, essentially, the remnant of the curriculum is Social Studies; Civic Education at the Senior Secondary School level is a continuation of the Social Studies Curriculum of the UBE, but with more focus on political education and at utter negligence of the value-laden content of Social Studies, which has been made to terminate at the Upper Basic Class Three”
“Besides, the Curriculum is not enjoying the smooth progressiveness that it should have, by not having Social Studies at the Senior Secondary School; hence creating a huge gap between basic and tertiary education. Only the curriculum of the Social Studies Teacher Education programmes at the tertiary levels (especially the NCE and B.Ed. Social Studies Programmes) prepares pre-service teachers to teach the National Values Education and Civic Education at the schools. However, at present, there is no synergy between teacher preparation and classroom practice. There is therefore the need to fashion out a strong connection between preparation and classroom practice.The present tripartite (Social Studies, Civic Education and Security Education) packaged in a so-called compound-subject curriculum called National Values Education are fraught with overlapping contents. There is therefore the need to streamline them to avoid boredom arising from repetition”.. The association stressed further that “Nigerian children and youth will be better prepared to be more aware of their social and physical environments and trained to develop adequate values and skills, and to contribute to national development under Social Studies Curriculum than the current use of the National Value Education and Civic Education Curricula in Basic Education and the Senior Secondary level respectively”, adding, “most of the series of deviant behaviours (youth restiveness, drug abuse, cultism, cybercrimes, terrorism, prostitution, banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, corruption and so on) that the nation is experiencing nowadays are attributable to impartation of disjointed and dismembered learning which Social Studies would have addressed if accorded its rightful recognition in the school system”.