The Home Economics Professional Association of Nigeria (HEPAN) is managed and administered by Home Economics Council of Nigeria (HECON).
Home Economics Education in Nigeria:
Home Economics Education started formally in Nigeria way back in the 18th century by the early missionaries as subject like Domestic Science, Cookery, Needlework, Home Craft etc. The first set of missionaries (Catholic Nuns) who arrived Lagos port in 1873 considered Domestic Science of high importance in the Educational System, and so established St. Mary’s Convent School to teach it. There were good enough areas in Home Economics like embroidery, cookery, needlework, laundry and soon embedded in the subject. Much later, the Church Missionary Society (CMS), the Methodist missionaries, the Presbyterian and other missions joined the train of teaching Home Economics in their various schools. Prior to this time, Home Economics had been traditionally and informally taught to girls and mothers by much elderly women within their immediate environment either through apprenticeship or direct counseling by close relatives depending on the training circumstances. These learning experiences oftentimes were not deliberately organized, being an informal kind of training; it was just a progression of daily activities throughout life. It was largely executed by the younger ones observing the elderly and then imitating them. Several skills for good House-keeping were taught, and these were expected to help in fulfilling their roles as family members in the most rewarding manner, the buying and selling of farm produce, becoming loving mothers and good housewives, learning how to nestle babies on the back, food preparation, making clothes and general cleanliness of the home. It must be established that Home Economics education has a far wider connotation than its original conceptualization as reflected in the meaning and definition. It now includes concepts like population education, family life education and so on. In effect therefore, it includes the application of many disciplines both of the social and physical sciences and arts.
In 1927, Queens College, Lagos became the first indigenous School in Nigeria to start Home Economics Education in the formal sense. It was also the first school to present the subject to West African Examination Council (WAEC). Special interest was taken of the subject by the principal of the college, Miss Blackwell. The subject was then called Home Ecology and later changed to Home Craft, Domestic Science and then Home Economics. By 1930, female British Education officers were appointed both at federal and regional levels to cater for domestic science and women education in general.
Although it was unfortunate that while the southern part experienced Home Economics Education, the North suffered delay due to political, religious as well as other cultural involvements. It was in 1933 that mission schools in North mounted programmes in Domestic Science for girls. Simultaneously, the Anglican Girls School in Lagos situated in Sura, Lagos Island Local Government area, started Home Economics at Ido-Olowu in 1950. By the middle of the century, Domestic Science had gone far into school curriculum especially at the upper primary level. The modern school joined the movement in 1955, which was a welcome idea with the free education scheme in the old western region. By the mid-sixties, Home Economics had been incorporated into the post-primary school curriculum. Then came a school known as Home Science Association Primary School, which was founded in 1931 by some Home Economics Teachers. Five years later, the school was built and had Home Economics as one of its subjects.
In 1981, the St. Mary's Primary School was founded and also adopted domestic science. There are various other schools in Nigeria that had Home Economics as one of their subjects. It was not until after independence that Nigeria experienced Home Economics at levels beyond the secondary and teachers College like Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo; College of Education, Abraka and some other Federal Colleges of Education and teachers Colleges; including Advanced Teachers Colleges; College of Agriculture and Polytechnics.
The courses offered under Home Economics curriculum in Nigeria Higher Institution centered on four major areas:
i. Foods and Nutrition
ii. Clothing and Textiles
iii. Home Management
iv. Marriage, Family and Child Development
In 1962, the then Eastern Nigeria reviewed her education system and recommended that needlework for girls and handicrafts and trade facilities for boys should be increased and extended to all types of schools. In the same year, University of Nigeria, Nsukka became the first higher institution to mount a Degree Awarding Programme in Home Economics. It remained so until in 1973 when Ahmadu Bello (ABU) Zaria established the Teacher Education programme in Home Economics. In the 1980s, other Universities started offering Home Economics; they include Bendel State University (BENSU) now Delta State University, Abraka; Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife; University of Benin, Benin City and a host of others. Currently, there are a host of Universities in Nigeria both private and government-owned that offer Home Economics.
There are now several Home Economics centres all over Nigeria such as NIMAVEC Vocational Center, Oguta, established in 1986. Since independence in 1960, series of educational reforms have been carried out to improve the socio-economic situation as an independent nation. The birth of the National Policy on Education in 1981 has Home Economics as one of the subjects listed therein.
A list of some eminent Professionals who helped in founding Home Economics in Nigeria.
1. Mary Slessor - Home Economist
2. Lady Ayo Manuwa - Home Economist
3. Lady Kofoworola Ademola - Home Economist
4. Mrs. Flora Azikiwe - Home Economist
5. Mrs. Justina Anazonwu Bello - Home Economist
6. Mrs. Jaja Nwachukwu - Home Economist
7. Mrs. Ajumogobia - Home Economist
8. Mrs. P. E Adewale - Home Economist
9. Mrs. Flora N. Ononye - Home Economist
10. Miss Messenger - Home Economist
11. Mrs. M. Aiyegbusi - Home Economist
12. Mrs. A. M Uzoka - Home Economist
13. Dr. M. W Kirkland - Home Economist
14. Miss M. Montgomery - Home Economist
15. Miss P. Graves - Home Economist
16. Mrs. Taylor - Home Economist
17. Miss Constance Cooper - Home Economist
18. Miss M. Morton - Home Economist
19. Miss A. Smith - Home Economist
20. Miss M. O Ahunanya - Home Economist
21. Mrs. M. Kelly - Home Economist
22. Miss R. Blackwell - Home Economist
23. Mrs. R. Stewart - Home Economist
24. Miss M. Robert - Home Economist
25. Miss M. Remi Doherty - Home Economist
26. Mrs. A. Halim - Home Economist
27. Mrs. A. Vincent - Home Economist
28. Mrs. O.O. Esua - Home Economist
29. Mrs. R. O. Johnson Smith - Home Economist
30. Mrs. V.I. Okaru - Home Economist
31. Dr. (Mrs.) Fayemi - Home Economist
32. Dr. O. Omololu - Nutritionist
33. Mrs. Okuribido - Caterer
34. Miss Adeosun - Nurse
35. Mrs. P.E. Uku - Social worker
36. Mrs. Gobir - Social worker
37. Mrs. Akingbehin Adebisi - Educationist
38. Rev. Sister Clara - Teacher
39. Mr. E.O. Ibidunni - Nutritionist
40. Mrs. Olaniyan - Dietician
41. Mrs. W.M. Okeke - Dietician
Emergence of Home Economics Associations in Nigeria
There was need to harness and standardize Home Economics trainings and research at all levels of education in Nigeria and this need gave rise to the following associations:
i. Home Science Association of Nigeria (HSA)
ii. Home Economics Council of Nigeria (HECON) , The Council for Home Economics Professional Association of Nigeria (HEPAN)
iii. Home Economics Teachers Association of Nigeria (HETAN)
iv. Home Economics Research Association of Nigeria (HERAN)
v. Family and Consumer Sciences of Nigeria (FACSON)
vi. Society for Home Economics in Nigeria (SHEN)
Home Economics Council of Nigeria (HECON)
Home Economics Council of Nigeria (HECON) became prominent in the year 2000 when for the first time in history, the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) Africa hosted the world congress in Ghana.
The council has been under the leadership of the following:
1. Mrs. Valentina Okaru
2. Mrs. Felicia O. Tolani
3. Mrs. Dorcas Olapegba Oseni
4. Dr. Nwakaego Molokwu, and
5. Professor Patricia Etuna Mbah
Professor Mbah with the guidance of Mrs. Dorcas Oseni in particular and members of the Council after the demise of Dr. Molokwu worked so hard to ensure that HECON was legally acknowledged by completing the process of registration which late Dr. Molokwu started with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria as Home Economics Professional Association of Nigeria (HEPAN) under the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 of 1990 Part C. This idea originated as a result of the need to have one umbrella body to collaborate with all Home Economics Organizations and Societies in Nigeria for the purpose of delivering the object of the mission for which Home Economics stands as a Professional and Subject discipline. It will take into cognizance all the perspectives of International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) which is the world body of Home Economics for the purpose of featuring and making international contributions as a region and or country.
In addition, the functions are encompassing in harnessing the activities of Home Economics in Nigeria to ensure that the discipline receives renewed attention from the Federal, State, and Local government such that individuals, families and communities feel the attraction and impact of Home Economics professional practice in the entire environment. Moving into technological advancement, Home Economics is empowered through research, training and development to lift up the images of professionals and practitioners as a way of promoting leadership, mentoring and possible linear personality progression. It is the view of the association that members become professionals by practice and exhibit the characteristic dynamics of a Home Economics Professional.
The focus is to receive positive renewed attention from the government, (Federal Ministry and State Ministries of Education (FME); National Universities Commission (NUC); National Board for Technical Education (NBTE); National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE); Agricultural Management Commission of Nigeria (AMCN) and other supervisory agencies to manage Home Economics discipline as “OUR” profession. It is hoped that Home Economics in Nigeria will get her rightful place and enjoy the conviviality of disseminating the objectives to the entire community accordingly.