THE Association of Nigerian Geographers and Geography for the Nation has called on the Federal Ministry of Education to restore geography as a single subject in Senior Secondary Schools across the country.
Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, the President of the association, made the call in at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
“It has become national information that geography as a subject has been removed from Senior Secondary School Curriculum and somehow sandwiched within some parts of social studies at the senior level.’’
He said the purpose of the conference was to highlight the challenging issues concerning Nigeria National Development, specifically the downgrading of geography as a subject.
According to him, geography has been sandwiched to social studies, at the lower secondary school, and is made an optional subject.
“Geography, neither belonging to commercial, arts and humanities, nor science group of the senior secondary school curriculum.
“All along since 1957 Nigeria got into West African School Certificate Examination (WAEC), geography has featured prominently as a leading subject, until four years ago the education ministry thought otherwise.
“Obviously, I am a proud geographer, and geography represents a focal point of the development of this country and remains the bedrock of successful warfare through its methods and theories.’’
He said that apart from the geographical information system, vegetation, disaster and climate mitigation, geography was concerned with livelihood, which was why all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) were anchored on the discipline of geography.
He explained that geography resolves development issues taking place in various parts of a society, the spatial process of the development formed the focus that turned into the SDGs.
Accordding to him, lack of understanding of strategic importance of Geography has led to its relegation to the background of national discourse by the unit of the Federal Government subject curriculum about 5 years ago.
Oyesiku said that geography was in the front burner of an understanding science and social science subjects and of great importance supporting the modern national development in Nigeria.
“Geography has broadened what was traditionally considered as a discipline embracing climate, weather, vegetation, soil, and geology to contemporarily boast of the leading technology and information science.
“Also, geography has helped to understand location, vehicular navigation systems, cultural settlement patterns and regional specialisation in Economics, Diseases, Urban Studies, Development population and even History.
“ Today, order has been restoring to land development, property identification and revenue generation ties to specific property owners.
“Also, disasters mitigated analysed and prevented due to knowledge of a Geographic Information System (GIS), an invention and domination of Geographers.
“Strategically, Geography and its diverse sub-fields are dynamics and have assisted in understanding potential political conflicts.
“Based on environmental issues that has resulted in global warming; and shift in the balance of power between states causing instabilities that often leads to hand conflicts.
“It is surprising to note that a number of developed countries continually invest in the development of Geography as a subject from the elementary schools to the university levels and involving billions of dollars.
“But in our great country, Nigeria, the case is reversed, the country has opted to relegate the discipline as a subject to the background.
“Thus, our children, even most undergraduate are unable to identify important geographic and historical features of the nation and are unable to understand what is where, why and how.
“Identifying state capitals, location of states, identifying basic environmental threats like flooding, rain storms, sand storm, vegetation depletion and the consequence of these to our national life remain very difficult.’’
He said that Nigeria has turned to be a country that producing youth and elders without knowledge of their basic location and features.
“Many of our young ones, who are attending both local and international interviews and required to address simple questions in respect of where some states are name of the national and other important features becomes very difficult.
“We cannot go on like this, as the development of our youth and future generations are very unsustainable.
“Against this background, we wish to implore the ministry of education to kindly look into bringing back Geography into the curriculum of senior secondary schools as a subject.
“Also, make it compulsory for those that are in the science based group of students at the Senior Secondary Level,’’ Oyesiku said. (NAN)
– May 16, 2018 @ 18:45 GMT |