Thesis on girl child education in Nigeria

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GIRL CHILD EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the Study

 

The girl-child is a biological female offspring from birth to 18 years of age. During this period, the young girl is totally under the care of the adult who may be parents, guardians or elder siblings. It is also a period when the girl-child is malleable, builds and develops her personality and character. She is very dependent on others on who she models her behaviour, through observation, repetition and imitation. Her physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional developments start and progress to get to the peak at the young adult stage (Sutherland,2001).

 

The development of any society would be grossly lopsided if the girl child is not given quality education. Education in any normal society is accepted as an instrument to power, prestige, survival, greatness and advancement for men and women. The United Nations General Assembly (2001) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates that everyone has the right to education which shall be free at least in elementary and primary stages. Similarly, the National Policy on Education emphasizes among other things that there will be equal opportunities for all citizens. However, Osinulu (2004) lamented that the Girl Child is discriminated against in terms of education and given out to marriage early thereby denying the Girl-Child the required competences for community development.

Education is a basic human right and has been recognized as such since the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. A positive correlation exists between the enrollment of girls in primary school and the gross national product and increase of life expectancy (Wikipedia, 2012). Because of this correlation, enrollment in schools represents the largest component of the investment in human capital in any society. Rapid socio- economic development of a nation has been observed to depend on the caliber of women and their education in that country. Education bestows on women a disposition for a lifelong acquisition of knowledge, values, attitudes, competence and skills. Women in Nigeria have had various challenges in order to obtain equal education.

 

In recognition of the fact that in many countries, both developed and developing, the status of girls is significantly worse than that of boys, the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, identified the persistent discrimination against the girl child and the violation of her rights as one of the 12 critical areas of concern requiring urgent attention by governments and the international community among which is the need for increasing girl- child education. Without access to education, girls are denied the knowledge and skills needed to advance their status. By educating girls, societies stand to gain economically.

In Nigeria today, the women folk have come a long way in businesses, politics, education, sports and other professions. They have made an indelible mark in their efforts to conquer the limitations of the past which have sought to place them permanently in the kitchen and bedroom. However, it is not all through a bed of roses for women and their empowerment. Majority of Nigerian women have not been fully mobilized and empowered to contribute to national development. If it had been so, we would not still be talking about good health for women, educational, economic, social, cultural and political empowerment of women. It is on this note that we will attempt to explore girl-child education and community development in Nigeria.

1.2               Statement of Problem

 

The girl-child, and indeed women the world over, especially in Africa and Nigeria has had their destiny sealed from birth by tradition and culture on account of their biological sex. They have been called the weaker sex in order to justify societal discrimination and oppression against them. They must remain silent hewers of wood and drawers of water, bearers of children, and toilers of arduous labour from sun-rise to sun-down. They can be seen but not to be heard in both the private and the public spaces of decision making. The girl-child by the natural status ascribed to her by male defined norms of societal conduct and behaviour remains a property to be owned and commoditized. Consequently, her rights are circumscribed by tradition, custom, and the chauvinism of male patriarchy. No community will remain undeveloped if it has the required human capital and the best instrument for developing any society is to invest in human capital (Richardson, 2009). This is because the acquired knowledge and skills will guarantee the economic and social liberation of the individual and by implication enhances their contributions to community and national development (Efe,2001).

 

Essentially, the Girl-child must be educated in terms of their role in the society, whether as Producers or Reproducers; they are mainly responsible for the care and well-being of their families, they play an important role as educators of future generations, they perform economic functions and social functions (Ballara, 2002). As more and more women are educated, the health of the nation improves. With rising education among the girl child (women), there will be also a rise of women in the labour force; women education aids in the protection of the environment and also improves agricultural practices. Thus, for society to be developed, the Girl-child must be allowed access to good and qualitative education (Ballara, 2002).

 

Illiteracy has been the greatest cankerworm which has eaten deeply in us and devastated the implementation of various wonderful policies of developing countries. Illiteracy has a positive relationship with poverty. Unfortunately, illiteracy is highly rated among the women than men which means illiterate mothers will raise illiterate daughters who are most likely to marry early and have no access to education if their husbands do not comply. The girl child often faces discrimination from the earliest stages of life, through childhood into adulthood. Her low status is reflected in the denial of fundamental needs and rights and in such harmful attitudes and practices as a preference for sons, early marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse, incest, and sexual exploitation, discrimination, less food and less access to education. Forty per cent of Nigerian children aged 6-11 do not attend any primary school with the Northern region recording the lowest school attendance rate in the country, particularly for girls. Despite a significant increase in net enrollment rates in recent years in Nigeria, it is estimated that about 4.7 million children of primary school age are still not in school (UNICEF Report,2005).

 

Issues of gender equality in education have been the subject of much debate during the past decades and have become a prominent topic of debate in all countries. In Nigeria, there are large disparities between the education that boys and girls receive. Many girls do not have access to adequate education past a certain age. The female adult literacy rate (ages 15 and above) for the country was 59.4% in comparison to the male adult literacy rate of 74.4%. It is differences in education that have led to this gap in literacy (World Bank Report, 2010).

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria the gender gap in literacy rates at the rural level between boys and girls was 18.3 percent in favour of the boys overall. However, in the age group 6–9 years (primary school ages) it was only 3.9 percent in favour of boys (CBN, 2000). This indicates that there is a gender dimension to educational attainment and development in Nigeria. According to the Examination Council of Nigeria (2004) there are still other problems, such as high drop-out rates of females students, poor performance, reluctance on the part of females students to enroll in science based courses and poor classroom participation. Across various geo-political delineations in Nigeria, a greater percentage of school-age girls are needlessly out-of-school, compared with the ratio applicable to boys of same age grouping (Adeniran,2007).

 

Consequently, efforts to boost female education have been made by governments, international organizations and NGOs. However, there is still a gender disparity in education. Oke (2000) and Oladosu (2007) demonstrated that females still have low access to education, low participation and poor performance in many subjects, especially Mathematics and Science subjects. Many factors which are home, community and school based, continue to restrict developments in female education (Uremu,2012).

It is against this background that this study will seek to identify and examine specific challenges of girl-child education in KagarkoandSabonGari Local Government Areas of Nigeria.

 

1.3               ResearchQuestions

 

The following research questions are raised to guide this study:

  1. What is the level of girl-child education in Nigeria?
  2. How does Nigeria contribute to the education of the girlchild?
  3. How has girl-child education contributed to community development in Nigeria?
  4. How can these challenges involving girl-child education be resolved in Nigeria?

 

 

1.4               Aims and Objectives of the Study

 

The aim of this study is to identify and examine specific challenges of girl-child education in Nigeria.

The objectives are:

 

  1. To ascertain the level of Girl-Child education in Nigeria;
  2. To evaluate the contributions of the Nigeria toward girl-child education;
  3. To identify and discuss the contributions of girl to community development;and

 

  1. To make recommendations that will help to improve girl-child education in the Nigeria.

 

1.5               Significance of the Study

 

The girl-child is an important asset of advancement in any society. The absence of adequate girl-child education means a huge loss of human resource and potential and has costs for both men and women and also on development. Girls grow to eventually become women and theymust be included and accommodated in all forms of opportunities and resources as their male counterparts. Closing the gap in education and ensuring that more girls are educated is essential not only for building a just society, but also a pre-requisite for suitable development. Education is the right of every girl-child, and it is a key to transforming her life and making her a responsible member of the society. Without education, girls are denied the opportunity to develop their full potentials and play productive roles in the society. Although some efforts has been made to improve girl-child education in Nigeria, much still needs to be done if women must realize their potentials and fully contribute to the political, socio-economic and technological transformation of the  country.

 

The findings of this study ―Girl-child education and its Challenges‖ shall be of help to policymakers, Universal Basic Education (UBE), Local Government Education Authority (LEA) and the general public on how to handle and resolve those obstacles and challenges that hinders the education of the girl-child and advance their education in Kagarko and Sabon- GariLocal Government Areas, Nigeria and Nigeria as awhole.

This study will add to existing body of knowledge on the Challenges of Girl-child education and with specific reference to Kagarko Local Government and SabonGari Local Government and in Nigeria as a whole.

 

The study would equally be of help to fellow students who would want to embark on similar research work. It would provide them with the rudiment/elements of research report writing as well as relevant literature, which could serve as a starting point.

1.6               Scope of the Study

 

Education is a vast area of study and an inquiry into this area could be time among other resources consuming. To this end, this study will specifically focus on girl-child education and community development in Nigeria. The study will also restrict its coverage to Nigeria.

 

1.7               Hypothesis

 

Ho1 There is no significant relationship between cultural beliefs of a society and the advancement of Girl-child education in Nigeria

Ho2 The ability of Nigeria’s to contribute substantially to Girl-child education is not significantly dependent on their programmes and policies

 

1.8               Definition of Key Concepts

 

  1. Girl-child Education: Girl-child education is defined as a process whereby the girl- child acquires adequate and appropriate knowledge, skill, attitudes and values in order to function optimally as a citizen. It can be operationally definedas;
    1. Learning experience organized for female students under the age of 18 in order to make them useful members of the society in which they belong
    2. Programme aimed at giving out of school girls vocational skills to help them break through economically
  • Literacy skills

 

  1. Girls enrollment, retention and completion of school from primary to secondary
  2. Cultural beliefs:This can be defined as set of shared values, norms, goals and practices that characterizes a group, society or community. It can be operationally defined as;
    1. Early marriage and childbearing

 

  1. Householdduties

 

  • Parent’sperceptions

 

  1. Traditionalpractices

 

  1. Religion

 

  1. Hawking practices/ childlabor

 

  • Low self-concept

 

  1. Education programmes and policies: This can be defined as a course of action, principle, plan or decision adopted by government and other organizations to achieve specific educational goals. It can be operationally definedas;
    1. Universal BasicEducation(UBE)

 

  1. Millennium HopeProgramme

 

  • Vocational and skill acquisitioncentres

 

  1. Public enlightenment

 

  1. Structures formobilization

 

  1. Incentives for thegirl-child

 

 

1.9               Organization ofChapters

 

This research work which is on the Challenges of Girl-child education in Nigeria Areas will have six chapters.

Chapter one is the introduction. It comprises of the background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions, aims and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, hypothesis and definition of terms. This chapter gives a brief history on the research topic, brings out the problem that needs to be addressed and also why the research work is important.

 

Chapter two is the Literature review and theoretical framework. In this chapter, different work from different scholars related to the research topic will be reviewed. It gives an overall view of what has been done in the past. A theory will also be used and applied based on the researchwork.

 

Chapter three is the Research Methodology. It has the following sub-topics: introduction, research design, population and sample size, sampling techniques, data gathering techniques, data analysis techniques and justification of the research method used. This chapter discusses all the designs and techniques that will be used to draw the sample size and generate data for the research work and why they are important.

 

Chapter four is the policy context and content. This chapter analyses the policies on education in Nigeria and programmes adopted by the government and non-governmental organizations on Girl-child education. It analyses the strategies used to achieve such policies and programmes and how it has affected the Girl-child.

 

Chapter five is Data presentation and analysis. It has the following sub-topics: introduction, data presentation, data analysis, test of hypothesis and discussion of findings. This is wherethe data collected from the field through questionnaires, interview and secondary data is presented, analyzed and discussed.

 

Chapter six is the last chapter and it has the following sub-topics: summary, conclusion, recommendation, references and appendices. This is where the whole work is summarized, concluded and recommendations are made based on the findings in chapter five. Books, journals and materials that were used for the research work will be acknowledged here and other important information like documents, questionnaire and interview schedule is attached.

 

GIRL CHILD EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

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