ASSESSMENT OF GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION IN KANO MUNICIPAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KANO STATE
Girl – Child education has been a subject of serious concern in Nigeria. This is because this aspect of education has been bedeviled with problems especially in the Northern parts of the country. Researchers (Usman, 2007) and Daiyabu, 2008) have expressed concern about it and about the various forms of discriminations and sharp practices against the girl-child. Thus, this study assesses the Girl-child Education in Kano; and reiterated on the degree at which identified factors i.e socio-cultural, religious and economic factors affect the girl-child education in the Kano Municipal Local Government Areas. The study adopted survey method as qualitative and quantitative research design. The sample consisted of 399 respondents randomly selected from the thirteen wards that constituted Kano Municipal Local Government Areas. Five research questions were raised and analysed using statistical methods i.e frequency distribution tables, simple percentages and cumulative frequency. The results revealed that socio- economic factors, socio-cultural affect participation of girl child in secondary education. The research work also showed that government policies and programmes have assisted in addressing the menace militating against Girl-child education and finally the research drawn conclusion that there exists a significant improvement in Girl-child education in Kano Municipal Local Government Area between 2010 to 2015 as percentage increased in female students enrolment in the end of session exams (WAEC) is greater than 10%. Based on these findings, it was recommended that girls should be given equal chance as boys in education; there should be a legal support for girl-child education and government, immediate community members, parent cum religion leaders should play their respective roles in encouraging Girl-child education in Nigeria.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is generally conceptualized as a continuous process of learning from the birth of an individual to his death. It commences from a child’s home and continues even after school to adulthood-till death. Broadly speaking, education is the totality of all the processes by which a child or young adult develops his abilities, attitude and other forms of behaviour which are of positive value to the society in which he/she lives. This shows that education is not just the acquisition of knowledge, but also the utilization of the acquired knowledge (Asiegbu et al, 2015).
Thus, the essentiality of education in functioning and advancing the modern world cannot be overemphasized; it is also fundamental to self-awareness, self-identity, and self-development. Without it, mankind is reduced to instinct and the realm of animals. With it, males and females can improve their lives and learn about one another and the world. More specifically, education for females is important because it helps them unleash and develop their potential (Adam, 2015).
Educating females in the developing world has substantial returns and in most cases exceeds the returns on males. According to a research by Chaaban and Cunningham,’’ an educated female is a great benefit not just to herself, but to her community’’ (Aliyu; 2009). Furthermore, in recent work from general surveys and sector-specific research reveals that educating females bring about various benefits, including improvement to family health; lower infant mortality rates, greater family wage-earning power, and the intellectual development of the family and, thus the community. But despite the benefits to be accrued from educating the female child, there are still some challenges militating against obtaining education.
Statistically, Women are over half of the world‘s population, yet they do two-thirds of the world‘s work, earn one-tenth of the world‘s income, and own less than one- tenth of the world‘s poverty. Thus the above statistic depicts the plights of women worldwide. Of the 1.3 billion people in poverty, 70% are women; women earn three-fourths of the income that men earn in the non-agricultural sector; women occupy only 10% of the parliamentary seats and only 6% of cabinet positions in 55 countries throughout the world; of the total burden of work, women carry an average of 53% in the developing countries and 51% in industrialized countries; of the world‘s 900 million non-illiterate persons, 65% are women due to the lack of educational opportunities; worldwide, 76 million more boys are enrolled in primary and secondary schools than girls (UN, 2007 in Eweniyi, and Usman 2013).
UNICEF (2003) noted that in the global political arena, the ongoing debate and action for the upliftment of the girl-child continue to stimulate the involvement of designated UN agencies. Notable among the range of initiatives is that of the United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGE) which are aspect of the Millennium Development Goals; The latter was established in April 2000. It draws from the constitution of 13 UN entities and charges like-minded national and international actors to work in concert with the programme to obtain Universal Primary Education and also, by 2015, to bridge the gender status encountered in primary and secondary education. According to Akinpelu (2007), Girl-child education and school attendance trail behind boys in nearly every developing nation. There is no gain saying that education is the key to the advancement of girls and women. Emphasis on the need for girl-child education prompted this study. According to UNICEF (2008), Nigeria is among the West African Countries that have highest number of girls that were out of school.
UNICEF (2008) added that girls make up the majority of the nearly 120 million children who are out of school and even greater majority of those who get opportunity of education do not reach the fifth grade. 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, socio-cultural impediments, 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.
In relation to the above; it has been revealed that Girl-child education has suffered a lot in the Nigeria society particularly in the northern Nigeria. Culturally, women are confined to their traditional roles with lots of sanctions imposed on them either by custom, norms or religion. The girl-child education in Kano state has been lagging behind and one can wonder why the situation should persist especially in respects to the clear provisions in the National Policy on Education that ‘’education is a right for every Nigerian Child’’. The National Policy on Education (2004) also has as its 5th objective as the building of a “bright land full of opportunities for all individual irrespective of gender”. Thus, The National Philosophy of Education of Nigeria is based on “the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and to provide equal educational opportunities for all citizens of the Nation at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, both inside and outside the formal system” (Asiegbu, 2015).
Global trends have also shown the essentiality of educating the girl-child for instance; the Universal Declaration in Tehran in 1968 on Human Rights which stress education as a right of every individual irrespective of sex. Also the 1960 United Nations Article 10 of the Convention against women (CEDAW). Has a major aim of promoting gender equality in education. Several scholarly survey on ground revealed that Kano society accommodate discrimination against girl-child in the access to basic education. If this trend continues in Kano State, the developmental growth of the area would be hampered.
While myriad of studies by expert organizations, patrons, and policymakers have shown that education for females in northern Nigeria is important as many benefits associated with education were also disclosed in their works, they have, however, failed to show the causative factors affecting females in Northern Nigeria in the process of attaining a formal education. This research work intends to identify the causative factor affecting Girl-child education in Kano; and equally examine if there is any significant improvement in Girl-child education in the state and provide valid recommendation on how to rectify the identified causative factor affecting Girl-child education.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The problem of girl-child education is not a regional, state, national or continent but a global issue of concern. About 35% of the world’s girls are not in school as at 2012 and from this 18% are in Africa more specifically in sub Saharan Africa which is 12% (Eweniyi and Usman 2013).
According to a study conducted by UNICEF and world education forum in 2012, girls constitute the largest population of illiterate children (28%) in the world till date. Thus, estimation in 2012 indicated that the number of children out of school had been brought down to about 115 million worldwide; 62 million of which were girls. While there were more children than ever in the world’s primary schools, hence too many of these victims were girls. In Nigeria Statistics show glaring imbalances against girls in enrolment, attendance and completion rates in all levels of education, particularly in the northern parts of the country, due to a variety of socio-cultural and religious factors among others (Eweniyi and Usman. 2013).
Despite numerous policies and programmes designed by the Nigerian government in addressing Girl-child education programmes among which are the Universal Primary Education (1976), the National Policy on Education (NPE) (1977); lowering of cut-off points for admission of girls into 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 particularly in northern Nigeria. (Aliyu, 2009)
According to UNICEF standards, Nigeria has not been assessed to have fared well enough in terms of the social indicators of education, as determinants of the overall indices of child development (UNICEF, 1995, F.M.W and SD, 1996; Adam, 2015). It is obvious that there are social, economic and political problems bedeviling the Nigerian children.
In the development of Islam which is the religion majority practiced in Kanos, the teaching of the Prophet (SWA) and verses of the Qur’an help improve the state of females. Females were given rights to own property, obtain an education, and to choose their marriage mates. The Prophet is said to have written numerous chapters that helped shape civilization and one of those verses dealt with education, including this verse: “the pursuit of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim, man and woman. (Aseigbu et al, 2015:2)
In spite of the above efforts which were attempted to alleviate problems related to girl child education but still there are the causative factors affecting Girl-child education in Kano. So this study intended to identify the causative factor affecting Girl-child education in Kano; the research works also tried to assess if there is any significant improvement in Girl-child education in Kano and provide valid recommendation how to rectify the identified causative factor affecting Girl-child education.
1.3 Research Questions
- What are the causative factors affecting Girl-child education in Kano?
- Are there any significant benefits in educating Girl-child in Kano?
- What can be done to promote high level of Girl-child education in Kano?
- Does the government play paramount roles in addressing Girl-child education in Nigeria?
- Is there any significant improvement in Girl-child education in Kano Municipal LocalGovernment Area since 2010 to 2015?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To identify the causative factors affecting Girl-child education in Kano
- To examine if there is any significant benefits in educating Girl-child in Kano
- To proffer valid recommendation on Girl-child education in Kano
- To assess if there are significant improvement in Girl-child education in Kano Municipal Local Government Area since 2010 to 2015
- To evaluate the role of the government in addressing Gil-child education in Nigeria
1.5 Significance of the Study
The results of the study would be significant for a number of reasons among which are that it would become a reference point for decision makers and educational planners to realize the socio-cultural, economic and religious factors affecting the advancement of girl-child education in the Northern Nigeria.
Furthermore, the research work would also serve as a source of enlightenment to parents and guardians on the values of educating the girl-child thereby erasing all the earlier beliefs about educating the girls. In addition it would also sensitize governments and other agencies concerned with children education in the area to be gender sensitive and ensure gender streaming in admission, award of scholarships and recruitment into various levels and positions.
It is also hoped that this will in-turn enhance girl-child education which will lead to their contributions to the development of Kano State and to participate fully in developing herself, siblings, husband, home and the whole nation and will not be misused, harassed, subjected and maltreated again. In fact the benefits are innumerable. Thus, it would serve as a point of advocacy for the rights of the girl-child to education and equality in other spheres.
1.7 Scope and Limitation
This research work will only focus on Girl-child education in Nigeria; and will be narrowed down to Kano particularly Kano Municipal City). Hence, the delimitations of the studies is to evaluate, examine and assess Girl-child education in Kano between 2005-2015. Therefore its findings are mainly to the area of the study.
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