The head of department, theatre and performing arts, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Professor Samuel Ayedime Kafewo, has suggested that tourism education should be incorporated into the Nigerian secondary school curriculum, saying the country has many tourist resources, but has not been able to satisfy the demands of modern tourists and tourism.
Stating this in a paper, titled, “Cultural Sites and Heritage Management for Socio-Economic Development,” he delivered at the national workshop on, “Repositioning Public Officers in Nigeria For Improved Productivity,” organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Kafewo said both natural and man-made tourism require early and adequate education to enhance cultural tourism.
He averred that: “incorporating tourism education into the secondary school curriculum will go a long way in inculcating recreation/tourism culture in the younger generation. It is a thing of joy to have read from newspapers that the Cross River State government has made a pronouncement of its intention to incorporate tourism education into the secondary school curriculum. Nigerian cultures are under stress from the many influences they face from other parts of the world, whether this is through music, film and video or fashion.”
According to him, the country’s culture is also facing challenges of development due, largely, to poor policy articulation and abandonment, and that, “what is at risk is a holistic understanding of the quintessential role of culture in defining identities for the nation. What has become expedient is how culture can continue to play a vital role even in the face of modernity and globalization in the development and growth of Nigeria and its citizens.”
The university don, therefore, urged that there should be conscious attempt by policy-makers in Nigeria to implement the Tourism Master Plan in order to address vital issues in the areas of tourism policy, governance, development of tourism products, marketing approach, international and domestic transportation, hospitality education and training, tourism organization and legislation, and tourism management information systems.
“Through the implementation of this Master Plan, it is expected that the Government of Nigeria, through its Ministry of Culture and Tourism, would be better equipped to develop and manage the tourism industry so as to enhance the economic benefits of tourism through sustainable, people-oriented development policies which would spread the benefits of tourism to all parts of the country and all layers of society, thereby greatly contributing to the eradication of poverty and the uplifting of Nigeria and its people,” he stated.
The workshop with the theme, “Re-Inventing Cultural Administration in Nigeria for Sustainable National Development,” which took place at the Merit House, Maitama, Abuja, had the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, Associate Professor ABC Duruaku and NICO’s executive secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, presenting papers.
Nwagbo Pat Obi
NICO Abuja HQ