IGNATIUS AJURU UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION
P.M.B. 5047, RUMUOLUMENI,
FACULTY OF HUMANITIES
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND DIPLOMATIC STUDIES
HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT
The first Military Governor of Rivers State, Commander Alfred P. Diete-Spiff promulgated Edit No. 10 of 1975 which converted the erstwhile Advanced Teachers’ Training College to Rivers State College of Education to train higher caliber professional teachers for the state educational system. The state College of Education admitted students in the 1975/1976 Academic Year with History as one of the pioneer disciplines of study to award the Nigerian Certificate in Education (N.C.E) in combination with any other discipline in the Arts or Social Sciences.
The History Department offered N.C.E (Full Time) programme for 3 academic sessions; N.C.E. (Part Time or Sandwich) programme for 4 years and 4-years B.Ed (Full Time) and Direct Entry B.Ed 3 Years programme for candidates with N.C.E. certificate in History. In addition, the Department offered 3-Years programme for candidates with N.C.E. (Sandwich). All admissions into the N.C.E. (Full Time and Part Time); 4-Year B.Ed and 3-year Post-N.C.E. B.Ed Programme are being handled by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). History N.C.E. graduates were among the four hundred and sixty-two (462) pioneer graduates in 1977.
At inception, the Department offered the following:
- History/Christian Religious Studies
- History/English Language
- History/Fine and Applied Arts
- History/Geography and
- History/Social Studies was added in 1982/1983 session.
The History Department began in 1975 with Prof. A. Halliburton, a Canadian, as Head of Department. Ven. Dr. K.O. Amadi, Rev. Canon I.A. Nwankwo, Dr. Ibiba Sasime, Dr. C.M. Sorgwe, and Mr. Philip Agbayome as members of academic staff. During the 1980/81 session, Messrs Opubo Daminabo, G.D. Sokari George, Nwari Wazim, Magnus Elechi and M.E. Oneyegbuchi were added to the academic staff and the academic strength of the Department was boosted with the deployment of Messrs M.E. Okeremeta, Afolabi Aboyewa, Henry Nwosu and Ahmed Y. Tanko as National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to the Department during the 1982/1983 session.
In the 1981/82 academic year, candidates were admitted for the degree programme in History (B.Ed History) affiliation to the University of Ibadan, and in 1984, History B.Ed graduates were among the thirty-five (35) graduates that successfully graduated from the Rivers State College of Education.
The B.Ed. History Degree programme has passed through moderation, supervision and guidance of the University of Ibadan until 2009/2010 academic year when the Rivers State government enacted an Act establishing the Rivers State University of Education, now Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, to award B.A Ed degree in History and Diplomatic Studies in response to changing realities of modern academic disciplines.
The establishment of this autonomous University of Education brought to an end twenty-seven (27) years of affiliation to the Nigerian premier university, the University of Ibadan.
In 2017, the award of Bachelor of Arts (Degree) programme was approved by the National Universities Commission in the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies. At present, the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies has two (2) Programmes; Bachelor of Arts in Education (B.A Ed) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A). The B.A programme at its inception in the 2017/2018 academic session admitted six (6) students which are the pioneer students of the programme.
History and diplomatic studies as a distinct discipline provide holistic approach to the study of diverse politics both in ancient & contemporary times. With hindsight of the past, it provides the academic equipment for analyzing present societal realities that confront making in a global context and reposition him to tackle future challenges. The Department provides high quality professional history teachers for the nation’s secondary and tertiary institutions.
Taking cognisance of the dynamic nature of society, the Department employs the inter-disciplinary scholarship to fortify students with viable tools that will enhance them to function effectively as teachers, administrations or diplomats on graduation. The Department basically adopts Afrocentric approach with a sense of objectivity on themes centered on African continent vis-à-vis the wider world.
On the basis of a sound intellectual exercise, the Departmental is programme to expedite effort in the preservation and projection of indigenous histories and culture through meaningful and well-articulated research endeavors for overall human and material development. In the pursuit of relevance in a changing world, the diplomatic studies component is anchored to address major themes affecting the international community in contemporary times.
The subject matter of History, distinguishing it from other Humanities and Social Sciences, consists of the attempts of human beings in the past to organize life materially and conceptually, individually and collectively, while the object of studying these themes is to widen students’ experience and develop qualities of perception and judgement. History provides a distinctive education by providing a sense of the past, an awareness of the development of differing values, systems and societies and the inculcation of critical yet tolerant personal attitudes. History’s reciprocal relationship with other disciplines can have an important influence on the experience of the student of the subject.
The diplomatic component is the study of the dynamics of societies and the international environment in which they exist. It seeks to understand the processes of international life and the trajectory of its development, and how it impacts on societies. It also studies the institutions i.e UN, AU, etc and the legal framework that have been introduced to strengthen the effectiveness of the diplomatic engagements among the members of the international community of states.
The vision of the Department is to strive to remain a renowned academic and socially relevant Historical and Diplomatic Centre of excellence that will be internationally ranked among the best specialized higher institutions in the world.
The Department is committed to training every high caliber graduates and graduate teachers, diplomats of international repute and administrators in character and learning through quality teaching and inculcation of noble and professional values as envisaged by the founding fathers, in a bid to create an academic platform that will promote the cross-fertilization of ideas in history and diplomacy in a dynamic society.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The avowed aims and objectives of the Department are as follows:
- To promote History/Diplomatic Studies as a teaching subject in our secondary schools for enlightened citizenship;
- To inculcate in graduates of History/Diplomatic studies, the quality of academic orientation that will enable them to function effectively either as practicing historians or diplomats;
- To equip historians/diplomats with relevant tools that will enable them appreciate the link between the past and present societal realities in order to tackle future challenges;
- To provide the historians/diplomats with a multi-dimensional paradigm in the study of societies that will enhance his ability in job creation;
- To train higher caliber historians/diplomats to teach and undertake research in African history in our Colleges of education and Universities or pursue a career in the Foreign Service.
Dr. Michael Blessed Thomas is a senior Lecturer with the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies and the current Head of Department.
He holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts degrees in History and Diplomatic Studies from University of Port Harcourt. He had earlier obtained a Bachelor of Education in History Degree from the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan.
Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN)
National Association for Science, Humanities & Education Research (NASHER)
Dr. Thomas has 20 journal articles in local and international journals and 2 books, and has presented papers at 11 out of 17 conferences and workshops attended.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
Social and Political History
Niger Delta Studies
Diplomacy and International Relations