12. ARTS, HUMANISTIC DISCIPLINES AND THE CONUNDRUM OF MARGINALIZATION: A RETHINK
Ekweariri, Chidiebere S., Ph. D – Department of Theatre Arts
Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education,
Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
Over the years, arts and humanistic education have been disdained and unduly marginalized. The marginalization borders on their perceived irrelevance in the overall growth and development of the human race. This condition is further exacerbated through the misguided and lopsided actions of the federal government when it allocates 60 per cent resources to the pursuant of technological and scientific education as against the 40 per cent that is allocated to the arts and humanistic disciplines. This is a prejudiced testament to the effect that arts and humanities are inferior to the sciences, which ideally, has no locus standi or substance. It has been observed that, though unwarranted attention is given to the sciences, they have not justified this ‘exalted’ position. It has to be argued and, logically so, that currently, there is a contest and a struggle for supremacy between arts/humanities and science/technology. There is no victor or vanquished yet, and there will never be, for one can only develop science and technology through the arts and humanities. The study believes that science and technology are indispensable in our contemporary society just like the arts and humanities. The arts, humanities, science and technology are not conceived as being polarized and mutually exclusive, rather they are complementary, one to the other. The paper, therefore, concludes that both the arts, humanities and sciences are mutually beneficial to the society and the idea of marginalizing one and skewing in favour of the other may be seen as counter-productive and would amount to putting the cart before the horse with obvious implications. There is, consequently, the need for an informed rethink on this obvious imbalance.