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DETERMINANTS OF GIRL-CHILD ENROLLMENT IN SOME SELECTED FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background to the Study
Education has a profound effect on women’s ability to claim other rights and achieve status in society. According to Ondere (2012), girls’ child enrolment is beneficial as it contributes to economic productivity, social development, intergenerational education, social equity and sustainability of development efforts. Research evidence shows that education of the female child is paramount to the development of a nation. Education in its general sense is a form of learning, in which knowledge, skills and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching training, research or simply through autodictatism (Mbilingi, 1991). Education for girls is one of the criteria path or ways to promote social and economic development (World Bank, 2009).
The introduction of the girl-child education and enrolment programme by the government of the federal republic of Nigeria emerged as a result of increasing level of illiteracy among girls child in developing countries. This however made it a thing of concern to persons concerned with development in order to involve the female folk in the process of national development. Considering that, Nigeria most populated country in Africa, it (Nigeria) shares same experience in the high number of women illiterate particularly in the northern part of the country where socio-economic, religious, parents’ level of education and cultural practices militate against women development. Successive government in Nigeria developed several policies and programmes to ensure that girls child in Nigeria are given the education every Nigerian ought to get to make them functional in the societyMunkernchern (1996:1). This is however in line with the child’s right UNICEF (1999) which stressed that;
“Every child (male or female) is entitled to receive free
end compulsory basic education and equal opportunity
for higher education based on individual ability”.
Historical development of the girl-child education in Nigeria has been that the female child had all through been relegated to the background in the area of school enrolment, attendance, completion and transition to higher school especially in the northern part of Nigeria(Mangvwat and Abama 1999). In Nigeria, although there is free education policy at all levels, access to education for all remains unattainable especially for female children and women. Some of the Nigerian administrative states like Sokoto and Zamfara, the female literacy rate is low compared to boys. In addition, statistics obtained from the two states indicated a wider gender disparity with 65.6% of male being literate against 39.5% literate females (UNICEF 2009). The same research indicates that about 33% and 20% of female children were enrolled in primary and secondary schools respectively in sub-Saharan Africa (UNICEF, 2009). Magaji (2010) observed that even though education is regarded as a human right for the realization of human dignity, many factors have been found to be responsible for the low enrolment of girls into schools when compared to the enrolment of boys. Among these factors, according to her, are poverty, culture, religious misinterpretation of Holy Book; societal negative attitude to women education, early marriage and gender biases. These factors, of course, impede the progress and development of women in society. UNESCO (2005) identified some attempts by Nigeria to promote the girl child education. Such attempts include: – Universal Primary Education (1976), the National Policy on Education (NPE) (1977); lowering of cut-off points for admission of girls into female secondary schools; scholarships into Science/Technology and Mathematics Education (STME); the promulgation of an edict banning the withdrawal of girls from schools for marriage, the production of blue print on women education by the Federal Ministry of Education (1987) and the declaration of free education for girls in many states in Nigeria (1988). Yet, many girls have not gone to school or have withdrawn from school especially in the northern Nigeria (Federal Ministry of Education (1987; 1988). This is why this paper attempts to find out those factors that are contributory to girl-child enrolment in female secondary schools problem in Sokoto metropolis and to recommend therapeutic ways of eradicating those impediments.
Education provides for both males and females in the society development, poverty alleviation and peace. Education is the first and foremost social tools that are imperative for the continued survival and growth of human society. That is why it is believed that the principle mechanism for developing human skills and knowledge is education (World Bank, 2008).The education given to learners does not only benefit the individuals who receives it but also the society in general, because it is the key to development of any nation (UNESCO, 2005).
Okafora (1971) and Ali (1988) explained that, education ideally trains manpower for the economy. It also helps to fully develop the potentials of individuals and equally help such individuals to gain employment opportunities. Thus, since education is a critical variable in modern work situations, formal education enhances labour force participation of women. Saheed (1995) argued that women’s involvement in formal education broadens their experience and also gives access to new resources and skills. To a very large extent, it should be understood that education is the main tool for imparting skills and attitudes relevant to the contribution of the individual concerned to natural development. Traditionally, Nigerian society does not see much importance in women’s education but rather in the domestic tasks. In views of this, the women’s role has come to be limited to sexual and commercial labour, satisfying the sexual needs of men, working in the fields, carrying loads, tending babies and preparing foods (Hammond and Jablav1992). Turning our historical lens on women involvement in formal education helps demonstrate that discriminations against them sometimes overt and at other times quite unawares, has led to limited expectations for where, how and why women should be enrolled and participate in education. The belief that they would not be able to use advanced schooling led to concern that their movement in certain fields was in appropriate or unfair to men. Invariably, this goes against what Schaeffer (2005) argued that education depict individual involvement in formal training for the purpose of acquiring basic knowledge and skills necessary for living a meaningful impactful life, generally aims at the development of human beliefs. A society with bias against education of females cannot be developed without the participation of women. In both developed and developing countries, the education of female is closely linked to human security, political involvement and a society built upon mutual respect, social justice, equality and desire for peace. Therefore the education of girls is essential for the development of all and for escaping from the vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty (UNESCO, 2006). Education aims at supporting girls to become confident, self-reliant, personally and emotionally secured, positive, socially, competent, committed and independent but cooperative, imaginative, reality oriented individuals with visions and goals to become productive members of the society (World Bank, 2007). Although it is no longer a matter of debate whether girls and women should be educated, some references to the gains to be made is required. Educated mothers are more likely to adopt desirable health and nutritional practices than the uneducated ones (UNESCO, 2007). More gains resulting from education of girls show that there is a relationship between a woman’s education and economic gains. It has been revealed by research that each additional year that a girl remains at school can result in a 10 to 20 per cent increase in post school earnings (UNICEF, 2005). By educating girls who become educated women and mothers their usefulness is increased in many aspects including raising income productivity, improving health, providing better nutrition, enhancing longevity of the family, reducing family size and indeed ushering in a more just and democratic society (World Bank, 2008). From the education of children, girls are not usually given the opportunity to have better education in spite of the lucrative benefits which society stands to gain in turns has an adverse effect on their overall performance in the society (UNESCO, 2005).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In Nigeria, girl’s access to basic education, especially in Northern states, has remained low. The female decline into female secondary school has given rise to problems which could be examined at both the societal and individual level. At the societal level there would be a generation of illiterates and uneducated females which will lead to downward trend of the economic, religious, educational level and socio-political dimensions of the society.
However, the study is interested in investigating thesocio-cultural, economic, religious factors and level of parent education as a factor that determines girl-child enrolment in female secondary school in Sokoto metropolis. It is hoped that the study will take a global look at this problem (socio-economic, cultural, religious and level of parent education) especially in the entire Sokoto metropolis and the Northern region where the problem is seriously pronounced.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study focuses on the determinants of girls-child enrolment in some selected female secondary school in sokoto metropolis. It also investigate empirically the influence of cultural, poverty (economic factors), level of parent education and religious factors affecting the girl-child enrolment in Sokoto metropolis.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study focuses on the determinants of girls-child enrolment in some selected female secondary school in Sokoto metropolis.
The results of this study would be significant for a number of reasons:
iii. It would sensitize governments and other agencies concerned with children education in the state to be gender sensitive and ensure gender enrolment in admission, award of scholarships and recruitment into various levels and positions.
1.5 Research Questions
Based on the background to the study and the statement of the problem, the following research questions were formulated in the study:
iii. Does religious factor have any influence on the girl-child enrolments in some selected female secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis?
There is no significant difference between effects of economic, religious, cultural factors, parent level of education, the opinion of elite and non-elite participants of male and female on the socio-cultural, economic and religious factors affecting the girl-child enrolment in female secondary school in Sokoto metropolis.
.1.7 Scope of Study
This study is limited to the determinants of girl-child enrolment in some selected female secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis and factors such as economic factors, religious factor and socio-cultural factor, educational level of the parent that determines girl-child enrolment in some selected secondary school in Sokoto metropolis.The study covered only public girls’ female secondary schools.
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