Nigeria’s Anthem Bill: The Impact on Nigeria’s Student

The reinstatement of the old anthem has been met with mixed reactions from lawmakers and students. Some students have expressed that the current anthem is not patriotic enough given that it was written by a British expatriate, adding that it does not reflect the aspirations of Nigerians.

Nigeria’s Anthem Bill: The Impact on Nigeria’s  Student

In a historic move, Nigeria has reinstated its original national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” replacing the current anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots". This directive, part of the newly passed Nigerian Anthem Bill, will primarily impact children in primary and secondary schools, as well as members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

This change was enacted into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May, 29, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” was the anthem adopted when Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960. The lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria, whileFrances Berda composed the music. 

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The reinstatement of the old anthem has been met with mixed reactions from lawmakers and students. Some students have expressed that the  current anthem is not patriotic enough given that it was written by a British expatriate, adding that it does not reflect the aspirations of Nigerians.

According to the bill, the lyrics of the anthem will form parts of the civic education curriculum in primary and secondary schools. This means that students will be required to learn and understand the lyrics of the new national anthem as part of their civic education.

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This change could have significant implications for students and this transition might pose serious challenges . Students who have grown accustomed to the current anthem will need to familiarize themselves with the new one. Imagine telling a primary students that they have to relearn the national anthem, a song that is not only a symbol of national pride but also a part of their daily school routine. This will an unnecessary burden on the young Nigerians. 

Teachers will also need to adjust their lesson plans to incorporate the new anthem into their curriculum

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The NYSC, a program involvIing Nigerian graduates will also be significantly affected. Corps members, who are already tasked with serving their nation, will now have to adapt to this change. 

Critics of the bill have expressed their indifference at the new anthem bill. They believe that the time and resources spent on relearning the anthem could be better utilized in improving the quality of education or addressing other pressing issues facing the nation. 

As the nation grapples with this new directive, it will be interesting to see how this change resonates with students and the broader Nigerian society. Only time will tell if the old anthem can indeed foster a stronger sense of unity and patriotism among Nigerians.