Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Benin, Benin City
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The question of man is the ultimate metaphorical question and has been a pressing issue in the mind of humanity since time immemorial. Quite often, the focus of the question has been placed on the differences between man and lower animals. But existential peril awaits the collective future of humanity if man continues in the habit of looking at himself in terms of his differences from fellow men! This paper looks at the question of man from various conceptions of “man” and seeks to address the question in the light of our shared humanity. It advances the argument that a whole range of issues happening in Nigeria, as well as in other countries – from debt bondage, human trafficking, early marriage, child labour, corruption by the political class to ethnic stereotyping and the assigning of ethnic labels – are inferiorising acts that inadvertently eviscerate the humanity of whole groups because they are not “like us”. It is suggested that the school system should provide structured opportunities for the learning of shared humanity – a humanity that implies that all human beings have the same basic physical and psychological needs; and that our education should seek to conscientiously break down barriers and stereotypes by providing students the structured opportunities to step out of their social and ethnic enclaves, mix up, talk with each other and share their respective stories.
Keywords: The Question of Man, Our Common Humanity, Our Shared Humanity,
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