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FACTORS AFFECTING GIRL CHILD EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

Girl-child education has become a matter of concern to stakeholders in Nigeria. This study examines the concept of and crucial issues in girl-child education. It identifies socio-cultural patterns, religious misconceptions, poverty, teenage pregnancy and early marriage amongst others as factors militating against the girl-child education. It is an undisputed fact that education is a very important tool for the development of any country in the world, it is evident that education can lead to a decrease in poverty and crime rates and activities. education across the world is a basic human right that all children across the world must enjoy irrespective of gender or religion. But it is an undeniable fact that most girls across the world are denied this basic right most due to the fact that they are girls. the study found out that girls perform most of household activities such as washing, cooking,running errands, taking care of younger siblings, washing dishes among others must because they are girls, it was also clear that parents prefer to educate boys instead of girls because of the negative perception they have about girls that girls are most domestic servants. the study recommends that in order to solve this phenomenon parents should be educated by the government and various non+governmental organizations in the municipality about the importance of girl+child education and also support needy but brilliant girls by giving them scholarships.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world (Nelson Mandela &). In this 21st century, it is an undisputed fact that education is a very important tool for the development of any country in the world, it is evident that education can lead to a decrease in poverty and crime rates and activities. The last five centuries, viewed as the age of modernity, have been essentially structured by varying historical processes. Significantly, gender and racial categories emerged during this epoch as two fundamental axes for exploiting people and stratifying societies (Oyewumi 2004:1). Eurocentrism, being a hallmark of the ensuing modernity, enabled the creation and imposition of Euro/American cultural hegemony throughout the world. Consequently, male-gender privilege as an essential part of European ethos became enshrined in the culture of modernity. In the quest of comprehending African realities, and indeed, state of gender relations in Nigeria, this global context for knowledge production has become imperative attending school. Poverty and the impoverished condition of the citizenry serve as a barrier to girl-child education. Most mothers preferred street hawking and early marriage than sending their wards to school. In the same vein, family background of the girl determines her chance of attending school. The more educated a parent,the more favourable his/her attitudes to education.Further to this, in most polygamous homes, boys are usually given considerations whenever there are scarce resources for the training of the children.Sometimes, an intelligent girl is deprived of opportunity to go to school while allowing a less intelligent or less ambitious boy to go to school. Also, the input of the girl-child in the family income is so high that it becomes economically unwise to allow such a child to pursue western type of education. Such income could therefore, be generated through hawking food items. The situation led girls between the ages of thirteen to fifteen are falling headlong into marriage and thereafter begin to face the challenges of child birth. One, they are denied the opportunity of formal education as they could not have any solid economic base or resources. With little or no education, capital, access to credit facilities, they are subordinated perpetually to their husband for almost everything, even the way they think and behave. This does not only affect the young women or rather the girl-children but also their offspring who due to the collapse of social and religious welfare services, are dumped with their unsecured mothers.
These children are often faced with the problem of proper parental guidance. As a result, they could join some urban gangs or go into crime due to the nature of their upbringing.There are also the political and institutional related factors which serve as the major impediment towards the development of the girl-child education, thereby increasing the gender gap. Government policies are beautifully designed on paper without proper implementation. As a result, it is imperative consider the political and economic changes in the country since the production of the first National Policy on Education in 1977, and the much later current one (National Policy of Education) of 2004, there is a dire need for further reviewing and restructuring in order to meet the needs and aspiration of Nigerians. The government could not also provide education of whatever sort to all its citizens at all levels. So, there is the need for a clearer articulation of the philosophy of education in the National Policy of Education so that the expected direction of education and indeed girl-child education in Nigeria became easily known and understood by all. Besides, four (4) out of ten (10) girl-children did not complete primary school in 2002/2003. So, five years after the World Education Forum and the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, progress at the primary level is far from decisive. Hope that the quality of education among other things like gender equity and women empowerment would improve by 2015 is now greatly threatened by implementation problems.

The Chronicle of Education | FG inaugurates campaign to support girl-child education

 Parents hide under the clock of “religion” to unjustly deny the girl
-child her right to education because to such parents, western education is synonymous with Christianity. However, it is worth noting that, Islam as a complete way of life for Muslims has spelt out everything as it relates to the well-being of every Muslim, both male and female. More so, as rightly observed by Badejo, the position of women under Islam has been the subject of repeated controversy among Muslims ever since they came under the influence of Western civilization and education. However, she further noted that it has been the basic stand of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs ever since it came into existence and formulated its approach to existing social and economic problems that Islam is not a rigid framework of laws and institutions, but a set of principles capable of fresh application in changing social conditions.UNICEF, (2002) stated that when the girl-children are denied their full rights to education, it affects the society in its entirety, as no society is sure of its future when the girl-children are denied their rights to education. Also, Nigeria cannot expect to prosper and hold its place in the 21st century world, since so many of these children will continue to progress to adulthood poorly educated, frustrated and bound to face uncertainties in the future. This study tends to sought out the impediments to the girl-child education.
1.2 Statement of Problem
 Over time, skewed educational accessibility has been inhibiting women‟s socio-economic empowerment in Nigeria.– Conceptually, the stereotyped roles assigned to women by the colonial
„ideology of domesticity‟which emphasizes domestic education for the womenfolk have made gender asymmetry to be sustained in the country. These prejudices have been exacerbated further by vagaries of missionary education and other male-gender privileging colonial literature (Hammond and Jablow 1992). The political culture that has emerged from the colonial orientation has been particularly patriarchal. It reflects gender inequalities in men and women‟s roles, and levels of access to state power, resources and institutions(Mama 1997:71). Specific development policies targeted at women‟s education and socioeconomic participation have been largely ineffectual in the country.
Unhealthy “state controlled developmentalism‟ has, indeed, helped to erode
(any) independent feminist initiative ever geared toward women educational progression in our society (Tsikata 1997:381). Nigerian women‟s access to formal education is still being constrained
due to their unfair workload within the household division of labour.
Consequently, the realization of the MDG3’s “gender equality and women empowerment” targets is being impeded vacuously (Opaluwah, 2007:5). 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. Therefore, the attainment of the MDG2’s target i.e. „education for all‟ by 2015 is glaringly at a crossroads;
having missed the initial deadline of 2005.It is all these in congruence outlined above that made a stringent questioning of the country‟s political and institutional frameworks, as they pertain to educational accessibility imperative. These issues are thus the pre-occupation of this study.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
 The fundamental objective of the study is to determine the impact of
education on women‟s socio-economic empowerment in Nigeria. However, the specific objectives include:
  • To understand the effectiveness of specific strategies targeted at women‟s emancipation;
  • To examine the implications of colonial educational policies for women‟s empowerment in Nigeria;
  • To make appropriate policy recommendations
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
 This study focuses on providing explanations to the following questions:
  • To what extent does educational discrimination impact on women‟s empowerment?
  • How appropriate are some specific strategies designed to combat women‟s disempowerment
  • Of what significance is colonial educational policy to women’s disempowerment in our society?
  • Could educational parity feasibly empower women in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study
The result of this research work will be useful to the government. Because it will make the government to discover the level of the girl-child education in Nigeria and how to improve on it in Nigeria at large and FCT in particular. 
The students themselves will benefit from this research work as it will enable them to identify the benefits of education in our contemporary society and problems associated with the girl-child education. It will also benefit parents, because it will point out the areas through which the parents influence girl-child education in Nigeria and the quota they need to contribute to resolving the problems associated with girl-child education. The teachers will also gain from this research work as they are the tutors of the Nigerian youths and students. It will also show their own roles in the development of girl-child education in Nigeria.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This research work is delimited to the Public Junior Secondary Schools in Kwali Area councils of the FCT
1.8 Definitions of Term
 
Education: this depicts individuals‟ involvement in formal training for the purpose
of acquiring basic knowledge, skills and expertise necessary for living a meaningful and impactful life. It generally aims at the development of human abilities (Schaeffer, 2005:375).
Empowerment: refers broadly to the expansion of freedoms including those of
choice and action to shape one‟s life. It implies control over resources and
decisions (Narayan 2005:4).
Eurocentrism: a conservative belief, grounded in European tradition and ethos,usually of cultural hegemony (Hammond and Jablow 1992: 150).
Gender: the social fact of being male or female. It depicts identities of masculinity and femininity in relation to patterns of human life.
Gender Inequality: this occurs when one gender is treated fairly than the other. It is the privileging of one sex; while marginalizing the other.
Housewification: a colonial system of domesticating married women who work athome, doing cooking, cleaning etc. but do not have any job outside the house(Mama 1997:70).

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