Education Nigeria Special Report

Revisiting Social Studies Curriculum for Junior Secondary Schools

Educational institutions are saddled with the responsibility to provide high-quality career counseling and lifelong socialisation processes to empower students with knowledge and skills for moral, intellectual, self-reliance, formation of right attitudes and behaviours.

They are also required to adopt acceptable values needed for self-development and proffering solutions to societal problems.

One relevant discipline that undertakes this responsibility is Social Studies Education. This is an area of discipline that gained entry into the Nigerian scene in the early 60s and after a series of events, it was finally introduced at all levels of the educational system in the ’80s.

The consistent damage of students’ sense of moral values, attitude and behaviour, is partly due to their involvement in acts promoting unruly behaviour and this presents a situation that makes Social Studies prospects seem unachievable.

The existing Junior Secondary School (JSS) Social Studies curriculum content has topics on; Promoting Peaceful Co-existence, Social Conflicts and its Management, Curding Cultism, and Common Social Problems as well as ways to manage them.

The curriculum also indicates the different roles of members of the society in promoting safety in communities, common crimes, causes and effects.

All these are trending topics as contained in the current JSS Social Studies curriculum.

In teaching these topics, teachers are expected to employ different practical activities ranging from creating brainstorming sessions, debates, role-plays and visits to judicial institutions.

The practical exposure of students will, to a larger extent, help drive home the benefits of Social Studies Education and lasting memories established while the students put this exposure into practice both within and outside their classrooms.

The social crisis-related issues involving secondary school students are rising by the day and unabated and there is every need for supervisory bodies to return to the drawing board and bring back the old practice where supervisors were in the business of going around schools to insist on the implementation of curricula’ contents in schools.

Stakeholders made up of all agents of socialisation should know that it is important at this critical time to reintroduce social and moral lessons especially as it centers on the history of the country and the sacrifice of its past leaders to reignite the sense of patriotism and nationhood.

All hands must therefore be on deck to push for moral rebranding through school curriculum in both private and secondary school as the time to walk the talk is, now.

Written by Ruth Wali-Essien (educationist); edited by Muzha Kucha