Brief History of the Department of Arts & Social Science

The Department of Arts and Social Science Education (DASSE) is one of the four new Departments carved out in 2011/2012 session from the defunct Department of Education. The other Departments are those of Science and Mathematics Education, Educational Psychology and Counselling, and Educational Foundations and Curriculum. However, DASSE has always been part of the Faculty of Education. This Faculty, which initially consisted of two Departments - Education and Library Science, took off as an independent and full-fledged Faculty on May 10, 1968 when it had its first Faculty Board under its first Dean, Professor H. Impecoven. Before then, the Department of Education had existed as one of the Departments in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. At that point in time, the Department of Education offered programmes in Education, Library Science and Post-Graduate Diploma in Education.

As the degree programmes grew in popularity, some problems resulted from both the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science. This was because students gradually drifted into Education, not because it was a soft option but, first, it was very lucrative from the point of view of scholarship. Secondly, ABU was one of the few Universities that were offering Education degrees apart from University of Nigeria, Nsukka and perhaps University of Ibadan. Furthermore, expansion in the curriculum of the Department of Education came about in 1973/74 session with the introduction of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree programmes. The oil boom had led to the growth of many Grade 2 Teacher Training Colleges, which were to produce teachers for the Universal Primary Education (UPE) Scheme to be launched later in 1975/76 session. It was in this context that, the B.Ed degree programmes were begun for Mathematics in 1978, Islamic Studies in 1983, and Christian Religious Studies in 1984. More B.Ed programmes resulted for Creative Arts, Language Arts, Hausa, Educational Administration and Social Studies, and were run for two years each before their later redesignation.

In 1988/89 session, four-year B.A./B.Sc. (Ed) degree programmes were introduced. Therefore, the B.Ed programmes changed from two to three years. In fact, in the early 1990s, the Department of Education became the largest Department in the University by running twenty degree programmes at undergraduate level beside those for M.Ed., PhD. and P.G.D.E. Nevertheless, in 1996/1997 session most of the B.A. (Ed.) and B.Ed degree programmes except those for IS and CRS were suspended due to some management decisions under the University Sole Administrator, Major General Mamman T. Kontagora (rtd.). Secondly, on 20th January, 1999 some fifty-five academic staff members of the Faculty of Education (70 % of whom belonged to the Department of Education) were rationalized. But by 2003/04 session, due to unrelenting pressures/demands from both public and private bodies, the University management reinstated under the Long Vacation Training (L.V.T.) scheme some B.Ed degree programmes in Social Studies, Language Arts, Administration and Planning, English Language, Arabic, and a new Guidance and Counselling programme. Only B.Ed. in Creative Arts was yet to be re-introduced. By 2006/07 session, the other B. A. (Ed) programmes in English and Hausa were reinstated. Subsequently, based on its size in terms of both programmes and staffing, the defunct Department of Education was split to four. For DASSE, in particular, seven academic programmes are currently run - B.A. (Ed.) Arabic, B.Ed. Christian Religious Studies, B.Ed. Islamic Studies, B.A. (Ed.) Hausa, B.Ed. Social Studies for regular/LVT students; and B.A. (Ed.) English, and B.Ed. Language Arts for LVT students only.

For now, DASSE headed by Prof. M.S. Koya, remains the largest Department in the Faculty of Education with a total of 38 academic members of staff, 5 non-academic members of staff, 491 regular, and 1805 LVT students as at 31 October 2011. It will continue to grow in all levels of academic development through teaching and research. Thus it shall meet up with the yearnings and aspirations of northern states and Nigeria in general in the production of quality relevant professional teachers for Nigerian primary and secondary schools, colleges, departments and institutes of education.