WOMEN EDUCATION: PROBLEMS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The contention that there was a bias against women in traditional Nigerian society is too obvious to scholars of history of education in the country. That women are the subjects of a growing national and international interest is unquestionable (Sator, 1992; Ekejiuba, 1991; Okonjo, 1991) and this interest stems from the acute recognition that women are crucial to social and economic development.
The barrier placed against women’s self-actualization especially in traditional Nigerian society was without recourse to the roles the women played in such society. Apart from the domestic tasks which may be seen as facts of socialization and convention, women were also very productive in the economic sphere of the Nigerian society.
Adeyokunu (1981) has reported that women in Nigeria are more involved than men in virtually all areas of agricultural activities ranging from farm clearing to processing. In spite of this, the women suffer and are victims of a social order that treats them largely as second position role players. Thus, gender bias against women ranges from labour market discriminations to exclusion from policy making. According to Mamman (1996), this discrimination exacerbates poverty by preventing the majority of women from obtaining the credit, education, training, health services, child care and legal status needed to improve their prospects. One clear area of noted imbalance against women has been in the area of education. It is therefore not surprising that women’s inadequate access to education has been seen as the source of the various discriminations that they suffer (Afigbo, 1991).
As a result, there has been a groundswell of agreement that women’s lot and general socio-economic improvement of nations can be achieved through the acquisition of education and broad empowerment of women (Stephen, 1992; Palmer and Almaz, 1991; Caldwell, 1979). It is against this background that efforts to educate women in Nigeria have received a significant boost in recent times. Particularly worth mentioning in this regard is the efforts of informal groups and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in encouraging female education in theSouth and North of the country and the commitment ofstate governments in the North to an enhanced educationfor women. Some of these efforts manifest in the establishment of special schools for girls and women education units in the education ministry of many states in Nigeria.
Despite all these efforts women still lag considerably behindmen in education (Ezeani, 1996), but there has beenmarked closing of the gap as more and more women taketo formal education while some young men under theinfluence of distorted values in today’s Nigerian societyare lured away from schools.
As a result, the National Universities CommissionAnnual Reports since 1988 show a significant increase inthe female enrolment figures in Nigerian Universities asagainst what it was half a decade before then. In additionto this fact, female enrolment in post-primary schoolsespecially in Southern Nigeria has virtually caught up withmale enrolment. Education per say, is the main tool forimpacting skills and attitudes relevant to the contributionof the individual concerned to national development.
Ideally education trains manpower for the economy,helps to fully develop the potentials of individuals andhelp such individuals consummate employment opportunities(Ali, 1988; Okafor, 1971). In other words, formaleducation ideally enhances labour force participation ofwomen since education is a critical variable in modernwork situations. But more interesting is that educationbroadens experience of women and gives them access tonew resources and skills (Shaheed, 1995). But these loftyaims of education are fulfilled only where the individualoffers himself for employment and uses the opportunity ofemployment to make various contributions towards the development of his society.
Therefore, education acquired is only relevant to theextent it makes noticeable impact in the lives of theindividual and society. It is in this sense that we are concernedwith the ways and manner in which the growingeducational empowerment of women will affect the Nigeriansociety. This concern derives from the fact that womenhave always been seen as not only late comers to the labour market but as also marginal to the labour process.
One likely cause of the above even in contemporaryNigeria in spite of the increase in the number of womenwith formal education may be seen in the adoption of theWomen in Development (WID) approach to women’seducation which while improving access to education forwomen does not tackle the structural factors limiting theusage of this education to liberate women from patriarchaldomination. A cause of worry in the Nigeriancase in this regard is the fact that globally women’s labourforce participation has increased and at times evenat the expense of the male rate (EFA Global MonitoringReport, 2003/2004).
Globally, it is estimated that women labour force participation has increased from 36% in 1990 to 40% by 1997(Razavi, 2003). Recent data indicate that, globally overthe last five decades women’s labour force participationhas increased and women today make up over 45% ofthe world’s workforce with more women than ever beforeparticipating in the labour force or actively seeking forjobs (ILO, 2007). But besides the above general picturecountry specific data from the ILO and United NationsPopulation Division (EFA Global Monitoring Report,2003/04) show significant increase in female labour forceparticipation in such countries as Japan, Indonesia,Singapore and Thailand.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems facing Nigeria educational system cannot, however, be over generalized because of the diversity characterizing its history which makes some problems peculiar to certain regions. In Nigeria, variations in female educational participation between geographical regions and within the socio- economic strata is quite significant and the similarity of problems in most rural parts of the country nevertheless, makes concern over female education pertinent and deserving of special attention.
Thus, the problem of women education problem in Nigeria seems worth stressing. The 2005 National school census (NSC) revealed that there are large geographical and gender disparities between Southern and Northern Nigeria partly due to parental socio-economic support, cultural, religious and educational factors. Female net enrolment Ratio (NER) in some states in the South are as high as 70% while some in the North are as low as 10%. In rural schools, the percentage of dropout was as high as 35.39%. The female dropouts in rural schools were higher than males, 42.10% as against 28.67% (Ajaja, 2011). But in urban communities and communities where the International organizations are working the situation is entirely different. The percentage of women who are dropout in urban schools was lower when compared with rural schools, 22.92% as against 35.39%. Percentage of dropout was still higher among female students in urban schools, 24.28% for females as against 21.47% for males (Ajaja, 2011). In another studies it has shown that the participation of the female children in these Communities is far greater than in other rural communities of Northern Nigeria with an increase of over 60% in female children enrolment, while attendance has risen over 25% in the supported schools (DFID, 2006). It has also been discovered that more female students drop out from school due to poverty and early marriage culture. According to ��This day�- Newspaper (2005), a case in a village, Gamji in Zamfara state, where in its history, no female students had gone beyond the fifth year in the elementary school before being withdrawn for marriage due to parental factors. To the best of the knowledge of the researcher, it appears much has not been done to investigate the probable causes to the problem at hand. It is in the light of this that the researcher was initiated to undertake this study in the aforementioned area. However, it is an indisputable fact that without positive parental support, any efforts to improve female participation in education will be greatly hampered (UNESCO, 2010; Ajaja, 2011).
Moreover, parents’ socio-economic support, cultural tradition and practice, and also religious beliefs of the parent are some of the parental factors affecting the system. Most of the inhabitants of the rural areas are farmers who have a very low socio-economic support to the extent that they are always struggling for their survival talk less of the education of their daughters. Traditionally, they attached less important to the education of female children therefore any attempt to contribute to its development is rendered useless. In a study conducted on school dropout pattern among senior secondary schools in Delta state Nigeria, Ajaja Patrick (2011), was quoted to have said that ��Globally, reasons why students dropout from school can be categorized into four clusters. These include; School related, Job related, family related, and community related.�- His finding was supported by Freudenberg and Ruglls (2007) who identified parental occupation, parent‘s socio-economic support and parent‘s educational background among twenty four factors under family cluster that leads to student‘s dropout. Misperception of the real teaching of Islam about female education also leads them to show negative attitudes to the education of their daughters. Although a great deal of literature point at the low level of education among female children in Nigeria, most of these studies attributed to low level of female children education to economy, religious and cultural beliefs, (Deininger, 2003; Sperling, 2005; FGN and UNICEF, 2001; UNESCO, 2002; ACTIONAID Nigeria, 2003), but little if not none examine the female students‘ dropout from students‘ perspective and various strategies to be integrated and adopted in solving the problem, the findings of this paper attempts to address this research gap. This study is therefore very timely and significant. Interaction with female children in Nigeria shows that these female children want to go to school; these female children are likely to succeed but the opportunity is not given to them to explore their potentials possibly due to some parental factors which need to be seriously examine. Others are being forced to drop out of school and later on be married without seeking for even their personal views by the parents or guardians. As such the researcher felt the need to undertake research to investigate women education problems and implication for family responsibility.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of the study was to assess women education problems and implication for family responsibility.
The study specifically:
1. examine the significant differences of parent‘s socio-economic support on women education from students ‘perspective, in Nigeria
2. examine the significant differences between parent‘s cultural traditions and practice on women education from students ‘perspective, in Nigeria.
3. Ascertain the role family played in educating their female children
4. Determine the extent to which these woman drop out from schools
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
This study provided answers to the following questions:
1. Is there any significant difference between parent‘s socio-economic supports on women education from students’ perspective, in Nigeria?
2. Is there any significant difference between parent‘s cultural traditions and practice on women education from students’ perspective, in Nigeria?
3. Is there any significant difference of parent‘s religious belief on women education from students’ perspective, in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Women education: problems and implications for family responsibility is considered from the following perspectives:
The study would be of benefit to the Secondary Education Board and the Universal Basic Education Board on the benefits women education and the need to educate the female children.
The study would be of immense benefit to all schools in Nigeria where women education has been neglected because it would serve as an eye opener to others.
The study would be of benefit to other researchers who may wish to replicate this study in other states of the federation.
The study would contribute to our stock of knowledge on the dire need to education women in Nigeria.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study focus on women education: problems and implications for family responsibility.The issues that will be covered in this study include: level of interest students, benefit derived from educating women in Nigeria, the problem of education in Nigeria, how early marriage hinders women education in Nigeria, the level of significant difference of parent‘s religious belief on women education from students’ perspective, in Nigeria
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are defined either as generically used in the field of education:
Education- is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves.Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is calledpedagogy.
Family- In the context of human society, a family (from Latin: familia) is group of people affiliated either by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage or any other relationship like siblings families etc..), or co-residence (as implied by the etymology of the English word "family") or shared consumption (see nurture kinship), or some combination of these. Members of the immediate family includes spouses, parents, brothers, sisters, sons and/or daughters. Members of the extended family may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and/or siblings-in-law. Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual's specific relationship.
Responsibility- it comes from the Latin responsus, which means “to respond.” There are actually a few different definitions of the noun. It can be another word for trustworthiness, as in, "He demonstrated hisresponsibility by showing up to practice on time." And it can be used to describe the social force that motivates us to take on individual responsibilities, as in, "A sense of responsibility drove him to memorize all of the songs.
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