Don Canvasses Study of Ifa, Orisa in Schools

A university don has made a case for the study Ifa, the Yoruba epistemology theory of knowledge in Nigerian schools.

Renowned professor of History, Toyin Falola, who canvassed the study of the body of indegenous knowledge at the 54th convocation of University of Lagos on Monday said the teaching would enrich the quality of education and improve indigenous knowledge of the past and present.

He also called for the study of Witchcraft, urging the University of Lagos to include Blue and Marine Economy in its curriculum.

The historian said the study should be combined with science, philosphy and economics to give students greater knowledge of natural sequence of matter and spirit.

Falola also called for the compulsory study of indigenous languages which should be used as means of communication and teaching.

According to him, the colonial education curriculum failed to address indigenous fears and aspirations, but designed to meet Western values and civilisation.

He argued that there were empirical evidence that suggested that teaching in indigenous languages made children to be more productive.

Prof Falola is the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair at the University of Texas at Austin.

He was a guest at the 54th Convocation Lecture held on Monday in Lagos with ‘Decolonising African Higher Education for Transformational Development’ as theme.

Prof Falola argued that the current educational framework put in place by colonial masters failed to capture enlightenment.

He said the National Universities Commission (NUC) curriculum promoted neo-liberal and imperialist culture which was detached from indigenous history.

The Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof Folasade Ogunsola, said the conference hoped to see how Nigerian universities could meet fundamental local needs and realities.

She said UNILAG wanted the school to continue to produce graduates that were “fit for purpose.”

At the event were former chairman of the Governing Council, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi who.chaired the conference and Cross River State former governor, Donald Duke among others.