Philosophers Association of Nigeria (PAN) on Tuesday demanded the inclusion of philosophy in the pre-tertiary education curriculum for national development.
Prof. Jim Unah, the President of the association, said this at a two-day researchers’ workshop organised by the association at the University of Lagos.
The theme of the workshop is “Teaching Philosophy at Pre -Tertiary Level of Education for National Development.”
Unah said the subject should be introduced as ethics and when taught would prepare the young and next generations to adapt to a good ethical living in pursuit of authenticity.
The PAN President noted that introducing philosophy from cradle would help curb the trending cultural decadence and social menace among teenagers and youths.
The don said citizens would also be informed by a sound consideration of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’, the conflict, marginalisation, discrimination and stigmatisation arising from the tendency to impose the ‘self’ on the other would be ameliorated.
“Human professions and practices would thrive better if they are fortified with the basic general knowledge background of good conduct for the citizens.
“It stands to reason that the way we have mastered our disciplines and professions by rigorous, sustained and systematic learning is the way humans will habituate the right social conduct if philosophy is inculcated in rigorous, sustained and systematic manner.
“Just the way the Boko Haram have succeeded in training the suicide bombers ; though unfortunately, to our collective loss and detriment,” Unah said.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Francis Njoku of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said the attempt to articulate philosophy in education for national development at the pre-tertairy must be set within a broader context of the society.
Njoku said education was about persons and persons were members of the state.
He said that in drawing a curriculum, the pre-tertiary education as physical education could be extended in an elementary manner to include “Philosophy of Sports”.
“Civic education or citizenship education can be structured as Basic Ideas about Society, State and Obligation or a Beginners Guide to Social and Political philosophy.
“An introduction to Nigeria history is important as Basic Understanding of Philosophy and National Ideology may be studied to encapsulate our National Anthem and the Nigerian dream, if there is any, ” he said.