Knowledge, they say, is power; and an understanding of past decisions and resultant effects would make history repeat itself or not. Have you ever wondered why the most intellectual rulers who effect changes are well-versed in historical experiences? This is because, at the metaphorical level, history transcends beyond knowing the past to shaping the present for a better future. A good understanding of history would help avoid mistakes that were once made. The Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) is a typical example of a bitter feud that resulted in carnage, misery, regret, and massacre. Both leaders and citizens are aware that another tribal war should be avoided at all costs. This doesn’t mean that history recounts only mistakes and evil deeds, rather it’s a blend of mistakes and achievements.

Art history courses
Not having a history degree isn't an excuse for not knowing history. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Why Do We Study History?

We all know how fascinating history courses can be when taught by the right lecturers. Besides the soothing relief you get from taking your favourite course, the advantages extend to gaining professional skills. From time immemorial, employers have always favoured degree holders over SSCE holders because of their professional and specialized knowledge. That’s why there is a gradual, but steady increase in undergraduate applications in Nigeria.

We live in a world where developing interpersonal relationships with people is important. Thus, understanding yourself is essential before you can understand others. Knowing your background, family history, and nation’s past brings about self-discovery. Likewise, knowledge about someone else’s culture and history would avoid culture clash and foster better friendship.

Studying history transforms you into an academic researcher whose job revolves around objective criticism, fact-finding, critical thinking, and thought-provoking analogies. Writing thesis and dissertation exudes independence and proper time management.

Historians are avid readers. Since authors advise that reading helps improve writing, it’s typical for historians to be good writers. While many believe that writing isn’t a profitable skill, you can make some bucks from writing fiction or nonfiction.

Debates, project defence, class presentation, and seminars will improve your oral and written skills, as well as, boost confidence. Imagine walking into an organization for a job interview and you lack the aforementioned skills. That’s why you should study a course that enhances your problem-solving skills, creative abilities, and composure.

A shelf of books
Read as many historical books as you can. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Career Paths for Historians

A degree in History could fetch you a job in the following sectors:

  • Jobs at Museums
  • Jobs at Libraries
  • Jobs at Publishing Firms
  • Jobs at Park Rangers
  • Jobs in Universities
  • Jobs in Secondary Schools
  • Jobs in Journalism
  • Jobs in Politics

Rigidity is the cause of unemployment sometimes, not job unavailability or poor qualification. Studying history shouldn’t restrict you to any of those professions. Rather, this degree should improve your ability to thrive in fields average people wouldn’t dare venture into. A number of historians have emerged as successful actors, musicians, politicians, and actors. Some of them include Joe Biden, George W. Bush, and Jimmy Buffett.

There are cases of people who are unsure of the qualifications they need or what area to specialize in. Speaking with your course adviser can help simplify and reexamine your decision on academics. Advisers help to breakdown issues related to scholarships and funding, admission requirements, deadline details, compulsory and elective courses, and other helpful tips.

Being a History Student in Kano

There are many exciting sights to behold and delicacies to savour in this northern city besides studying for a history degree in one of Kano’s top universities. Kano has always remained a multicultural and multi-religious city despite the dominant number of northerners and Muslims. The city is bound by Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, and Bauchi states. You can access the state by road and air; with Kano having the first Nigerian airport, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport. This airport has local and international flights if intend travelling to another state or country.

Foodies, shopping freaks, golfers, and naturalists are well served in this city as there are all sorts of delicacies to eat, malls to visit, golf clubs to play in, and natural habitats to admire. For prospective history students, you can begin by visiting the famous Murtala Mohammed Library and the Gidan Makama Museum to know more about the state’s history and culture.

For golfers, the Kano Golf Club welcomes like-minded people to healthy golf competitions. While the Porto Golf Resort has been mistaken for a golf club by many, it functions as a relaxation joint. The environment is serene, surrounded by a lake and green vegetation; the perfect way to end a stressful week. For naturalists (nature lovers), the Adu Bako Zoo, Tiga Dam, Baturiya Wetland Game Reserve, and the Dala Hill would interest you. The Dala Hill which is 534m high and dates back to the 7th century offers an aerial view of the city. The Baturiya Wetland Game Reserve is home to rare birds like the grey hornbill, yellow-billed stork, knob-billed goose, and the pelican.

Tourists are not left out as they’re often drawn to the ancient 50-feet Kano Wall that’s been protecting the city since the 14th century. Food lovers have an array of northern delicacies to choose from some of which include Tuwon Shinkafa, Burabisco, Pate, Tuwon Dawa, and Miyan Kuka.

Kano has credible universities where you can take history classes that entail how to study history, historiography, and more. Kano state institutions have online history courses, as well as, university history courses. Below are schools where you can enroll for history education.

Kano Federal College of Education

Before applying to this college of education, know that an NCE degree can’t be compared to a university degree. For this reason, you can only teach in a primary or secondary school with an NCE degree. At the Kano Federal College of Education, you can study any of these three-course combinations:

  • English/History
  • Geography/History
  • History/Social Studies

To gain admission to study either of these courses, you need a credit pass in Mathematics, English, Government or History, Literature or Geography, and one more subject. This history degree is best suited for students who intend teaching in classrooms.

National Open University of Nigeria Kano Branch

Located along Independence road is the Kano branch of the National Open University of Nigeria. Here, you will study history for five years unlike the normal four-year period in other universities. In addition to the longer timeframe, you will take history courses online as against attending physical lectures. If you’ve given up on education because of age, busy work schedule, or expensive tuition fees, NOUN is designed for you. Here, you get to work and study simultaneously as you don’t have to bother about weird lecture hours. Here, learning is done at your pace.

history education
History recounts past experiences. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Bayero University Kano

This is Kano’s best university according to university academic ranking. Besides NOUN, it’s the only university in Kano that offers history. You’ll offer courses such as Origin of Europe Expansion, History of Japan, History of Political Ideas, Comparative Historic Methodology, and Nigerian History Since 1945.

The department strives to imbibe exemplary qualities such as self-actualization, self-pride, and self-reliance. Furthermore, the history department seeks to preserve, propagate, and develop the northern culture and religion.

History B.A., M.A.

The philosophy of the Department of History has always been the preservation, the development and the propagation of the culture languages and religion of the society in which we live. With due regard for the bigger word in which we live, which includes not only the other Northern states, but Nigeria and Africa as a whole, and indeed all of human society, the Department seeks to provide a balanced education and research centre dedicated to the development of society and each of its members.
The Department aims to develop and enhance our students’ awareness of the values, contributions, and potentialities of their own social, cultural and spiritual environment. We also strive to equip them to contribute meaningfully towards the attainment of national goals and the satisfaction of national needs. We recognize the necessity of instilling in them the spirit of self-reliance, self-pride and self-actualization. Towards this, Nigerian History is taught at every level, and is a required core course of our undergraduate programmes.

Objectives

  1. To give students a thorough understanding of Nigerian history and Historiography planted firmly in the context of African and World history.
  2. To educate students on historical movements of global importance in other continents in order to enable them acquire better knowledge of the world and thus promote world peace.
  • To make students comprehend the historical forces and developments which have shaped and are still shaping the lives of the peoples of Nigeria, Africa and the world.
  1. To develop in the students a sense of commitment and capacity to consciously relate to the unity and progress of Nigeria and prosperity of Africa and the World.
  2. To provide the students with advantages usually associated with historical training such as critical and analytical faculty and balanced judgment needed particularly in teaching, administrative and managerial responsibilities.
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