The Vice Dean of the School of Graduate Studies(SGS), Prof. Kankam Boadu, has called on reviewers of the current basic school curriculum to retain Social Studies considering its relevance in solving problems of the society.
Prof. Boadu said, “maintaining Social Studies education will help to solve societal problems because of its integrated nature”.
The professor of Social Studies made the call when he delivered his inaugural lecture on the topic “Teach the Untaught: Perspectives of Social Studies Education in Ghana”.
Prof. Boadu said Social Studies as Citizenship Education provided a platform in nurturing young people of their civic responsibilities towards society and nation. “Social Studies is the most appropriate tool for promoting national integration and nation building” he posited.
Explaining further, Prof. Boadu said Social Studies was very cost effective to the employer. “Instead of separating the various disciplines and getting them different teachers with their respective remunerations, if these disciplines are integrated, the number of teachers to be employed can be reduced and revenue could be saved for other equally important national issues or activities” he justified.
According to him Social Studies has its prime focus of nurturing the learner to become a good citizen through the teaching of the right ways of life necessary for sustainable national development. He said scholars from both natural and Social Sciences have found it necessary to combine their knowledge and methods to make progress in their areas. “Social Studies cannot afford to be cut off from these promising lines of intellectual activity because the research of scholars’ lies near the core of Social Studies” he argued.
He said the scope of Social Studies was very vast and wide adding, “the nature of Social Studies demands that knowledge be looked at in a holistic manner and that all disciplines must promote man’s understanding of issues and solutions to problems”. He said that, due to the integrated nature of Social Studies its content was derived from Sociology, Anthropology, History, Government, Political Science, Economics, Geography and Psychology.
Prof. Boadu said Social Studies education and instruction have gone through various changes from 1940 to the present era in Ghana. According to him, “Throughout these years in Ghana, multiple influences which have characterised the fluctuations of the subject have brought different perspectives in its historical context.”
He said the introduction of the New Educational Reform Programme (NERP) in 1987 stabilised Social Studies education in Ghana. He noted that, "The stabilisation of Social Studies in the current era of Ghana’s educational dispensation presents new challenges and opportunities for effective Social Studies education in today’s classroom environment and serves as the wake-up call of how Social Studies education continues to respond to the current trends, issues and instructional objectives.”