Factors Influencing Girl-Child Education in Nigeria (A Case Study of Yobe State)

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Factors Influencing Girl-Child Education in Nigeria (A Case Study of Yobe State)

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Factors Influencing Girl-Child Education in Nigeria (A Case Study of Yobe State)

By

Dr. Hafsta Ahamad Abubakar

 School of General Studies

Federal Polytechnic Damaturu Yobe State

Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET Fund) Sponsored Study

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the factors that affect girls’ education at secondary school level in Yobe State. Female principals, teachers and students serving and studying at eight senior Girls secondary schools in Yobe state constituted the population of the study. The study was restricted to eight senior Girls secondary schools across the state only. In order to ensure adequate representation of the population, 8 principals, 66 teachers and 476 students were selected randomly as a sample. Quantitative research approach was adopted. Data was collected through self-developed structured questionnaire designed on five Point Likert Scale. Statistical tools employed are: simple percentage and chi-square for data analysis. It was concluded that there were various factors that affect girls’ education. These were: unpunctuality of teachers; unfeasibility of school buildings; poor financial status of the parents; lack of basic facilities; marriage at early age; lack of parental attention; negative attitudes of parents about girls’ education; illiteracy of the parents; lack of competent teachers; lack of basic facilities for teachers; lack of proper security arrangement; and long distance to school. Therefore, it was recommended that negative attitude towards female education should be discouraged through intensive campaign and sensitization through social media. Early marriage culture should be discouraged. Secondary education should be made free and a special programme of scholarships should be launched for less privileged female students. More classrooms should be constructed on feasible places so that girls in rural areas will benefit.

Keywords: Factors, Affecting, Girls’ education, Secondary School Level.

1.0 Introduction

Education is key to societal development this has been recognized globally. Education played has continue to play a major role in social, economic and political aspects of national development. It is equally through the use of education that the environment has been transformed into a better place to live. To enhance prompt human capital development, it is necessary that education is obtainable and affordable for all sex. Education has become a fundamental human want. Basic education has for some time remained high in the global agenda for education. Its significance in economic and social development makes it a basic right for both, boy and girl child (Herzand Sperling, 2004).

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has a right to education and the nation has a responsibility to ensure that primary education is free and compulsory to all children. The state also has a duty to support diverse forms of secondary education accessible on the basis of capability of the individual. Article 28 of the Convention on Rights of a child spells out the aims of education in the society. Education aims at developing the Child’s personality, talents, mental abilities to the fullest so that the individual and the society benefits. Education fosters respect for the child’s parents, his/her cultural identity, language, values and cultural background. Education creates a sense of identity, belonging and also a sense of direction, which is crucial in a developing individual. Most advanced nations laid great emphasizes on basic education in their early stages of human development, for example Sweden achieved universal primary education (UPE) in 1942, Japan in 1842 and Denmark in 1914. Several nations have shown consistent annual growth in capital income are almost at100% basic literacy levels. Economists have shown that there is a positive correlation between the level of education of the people and economic growth of the country (West Africa Standard Feb. 8th 2005).

The declaration on Human Rights Article 28th of 1979 education should be free at elementary and fundamental stages to allow easy access by all. UNESCO, an agent of UN, devoted a lot of significance to this section of the declaration on the rights of the child. The world education forum, Dakar, Senegal 2002, were a clear indication of the recognition by international community of the tactical role that education plays towards the achievement of workable development. The objectives and targets of the international conferences on education were:

  • Achieve 50% improvement in levels of adult’s literacy particularly that of women.
  • Ensuring that all children particularly girls will have access to and complete free and compulsory basic education of good quality.
  • Achieve equitable access to basic and continuing education for all
  • Eliminating gender disparities in both Primary and secondary education.

The global situation indicated that the girls and women were the minority in terms of access to education. There were fewer girls and women who had access to education than were boys and men. Out of 100 million children 60 million were girls having no access to primary and secondary education, likewise out of 90 million, two thirds (2/3) of illiterate adults were women.

Nigeria as a nation realized the significant role that education plays in development of the nation. At independence most governments realized that education is necessary for social and economic development of the country. Nigeria struggled to provide Universal Basic Primary Education (UBE) amidst meager resources, the government committed itself to eradicating, poverty and disease. To eradicate the vices, it was noted that education had a major role to play. People need education to be able to critically look at issues. Educated people know how to take care of themselves. In view of the above, the Nigerian government has heavily invested in education of its citizens. The heavy investment in education by the government is well demonstrated in the country’s annual budget where education sector alone takes more of the national budget. The government is committed to the provision of education to all in an attempt to achieve gender parity in education. This has been clearly demonstrated by her participation in the world conference on education; in Thailand in 1990 and subsequent endorsement of education for all (EFA) Declaration made in Dakar, Senegal in the year 2000. Since the Thailand conference of 1990 several strategies and education programmes have been put in place in an attempt to achieve gender parity in education in Nigeria.

However, despite the various national policies and the signing of international agreements, gender disparities still persist in the Nigerian education system. Efforts to address gender disparities in education at policy level have remained largely superficial and uncoordinated despite the fact that Nigeria as a nation signed the framework of action in which one of the goals was to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education. There has been gender disparity in favor of boys almost at all levels of education systems in Nigeria. The gender gap in access, participation and achievement broadens as we progress from early childhood education to primary and secondary education. This is revealed by the economic survey, 2005 – 2008 which shows that enrolment in primary school in Nigeria was 37.6% girls while 62.4% Boys.

The Yobe State statistics show that the total enrolment for boys in the primary school was 960, 739 while that of girls was 906, 380.This translates to 51.5% and 48.5% respectively. With the evidence of gender disparity, the researcher wishes to investigate the major factors that hinder the girl child access to secondary education in Yobe State. With the above evidence of gender disparity, it is important to investigate factors that influence girl child participation in secondary education in the State.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

By extension the girl child is women which will turn be the bearers of children. They can only be seen but not be heard in both the private and the public spaces of decision making. The girl child by the natural status ascribe to her by male define norms of societal conduct and behaviour remains a property to be owned and commoditized (Jeffery, 1996). 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 (Adeniran and Adebusuyi, 2007). This is because the obtained knowledge and skill will guarantee the economic and social liberation of the individual and by implication enhances their contribution to community and national development.

Education is meant for all; in fact, it is the fundamental human right of every child whether boy or girl, able or disable to acquire the basic education. Therefore, there should be no discrimination as to who goes to school and who does not, hence education recognizes and helps to unlock the potential in every child (Grace, 2010). Poor enrolment of the girl child in school is widening the educational and economic differences between the men and the women folks in Yobe in particular and in Northern Nigeria general.

Thus, the subjects of gender equality in education have been the subject and off course the prominent topic of debate for decades now. In Nigeria for example, there are large disparity between the education that the girl child received and that of their counterpart boys. Most girls do not have access to adequate education to a certain age. The literacy rate, adult female (ages 15 and above) in Nigeria was at 52.66%, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources (World Bank, 2018).

However, there is ongoing concerted effort in Yobe state, to boost female education have been made by governments, organizations and INGOs, though there still discrepancy in education. The current study is designed to identify and address the challenges bedeviling girl child education or the factor responsible for low enrolment in schools in Yobe State. It also necessary to unravel the challenges of girl child education in view of not only the ignorance of rural dwellers on the significance of education, but also the degradingcustom of distancing the girl child out of school, why parents often keep the girl child at home to look after the younger ones and involved in house chores with intention of preparing them for future husbands.

1.2 Objectives of the Research

            Based on the problem, the objectives of the current study are to investigate the factors influencing girls‟ access to and participation in secondary education in Yobe State.

  1.  To examine what family related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education.
  2. To examine how distance related factors, cause girls to drop out of secondary education.
  3. To examine how parents related factors, cause girls to perform poorly in school.
  4. To examine how parent’s educational accomplishment related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary school to secondary school.
  5. To examine how Techers absentees related factors, cause girls to dropout of secondary education.

2.0 Review of Related Literature

Girl-child education has for a long time been influenced by a pedagogy of disparities, by way of education that emphasizes on the differences and not the similarities between boys and girls. This style of education places the boy’s on greater advantage than the girls.

The complications of the girl-child education start at home. It is at this level in the community that girls are educated differently from boys. The parents, siblings, relatives and even the neighbours see girls to be completely different from boys. They erroneously believe that, boys are more capable, more responsible and more significant to the society than girls. Although both girls and boys are brought up together at home and in the community but the girls are forced to grow up differently through this oppressive socialization. They are not given equal opportunities as boys to prove their capabilities. As a result, the girls grow up believing that they are completely inferior to boys just because they are girls. The prevalence of gender bias society will continue to bring set back on girl-child education, as well as social discrimination between girls and boys.

Tischels (1986) defined gender as the socially learned pattern of behaviour and psychological or emotional expressions of attitudes, that distinguishes male and female in the society. Such behaviour is learnt through socialization in the society and in school. This socialization has affected the girl-child in relations of access to education and achievement. The girls are made to feel inferior to boys in the society. Hence Girls are not willing to go for those things that are believed to be for boys. They will not strive to outshine the boys in anything including education in case they get ex-communicated in the society because of on norms and culture.

Those girls that behave differently are ridiculed and laughed at in the society and this makes them uncomfortable and therefore unwilling to compete effectively with boys. Earlier study in the field of education has made revelation to the effect that for many years the girl-child has been deprived of her right to adequate education through gender socialization.

A survey finding has shown a glaring gender gap in favour of the boy- child in many countries of Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and North America. The boy- child continues to perform better than the girl-child academically interms of enrolment, retention and achievements.

A similar study in African countries portrayed a similar situation where girl-child is over-shadowed by the boy-child as regards education performance. In Nigeria came up with a picture of inadequate girl-child education in terms of enrolment, retention and completion. The number of girls who joined school in class one is noticeably lower than that of boys and of those girls who joined school only a few complete schools. For various reasons some girls drop out of school while the boys continue learning and complete school.

Girls are also displayed as under-achievers in many African countries. Recent research by Montel et al. (2006) carried out across African countries revealed that more boys are achievers at higher levels compared to girls. The percentages range from 37 % in Ghana to 44 % in Tanzania, gender influences the academic performance in favour of boys. The girl – child‟s involvement in education faces other challenges some of which are culturally related to meet the cultural and social hopes of the community and not that of individual girl-child. This approach towards the girl- child by the society denies her of equal opportunity in education to those of boys.

The Boys are treated with more dignity and seriousness and are given most of the opportunities in education. Family funds will be geared towards boy education. Where poverty strikes leading to scarcity of funds in the family, the girl-child is sent home to work so as to assist the parents in raising funds to educate her brother (Jeffery and Basu, 1996). This situation compromises the girl-child education (Adaralegbe, 2005; Stronquist, 2000).

2.1 Approaches of Improving Girl-Child Education in Nigeria.

The global challenges of gender discrepancies in education and the many opportunities that the girl-child is denied in education and human development, world conferences have been held to address the issue of girl -child education. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, the World Conference on Education for All, in Thailand of 1990 and the World Education Forum, Senegal of 2000, are all in response to the gender gap in education opportunities.

In response to Education for All, girl -child education was placed at the center of E.F.A. agenda and UNICEF was announced as the main agent in the new initiative. The most urgent was to ensure access to and improve the quality of education for girls and women, and to remove every obstacle that hampers their active participation in this field. There was need to eradicate all gender stereotyping to facilitate maximum participation by girls in education. In this agenda UNICEF was guided by the C.R.C. principles, that recognize education as non-alienable right, an important right that facilitate access to all the other rights as well as an essential tool for empowerment and development of the individual and the community.

UNICEF support to EFA focuses on girl-child education as a strategic point of entry. The initiative by UNICEF aimed at various achievements that would improve on girl-child education. The main focus was on the following: –

  • Increased enrolment and completion rate for girls.
  • Reduction of drop outs and repetition percentages among girls.
  • Eliminating of gender gap in the enrolment at primary and secondary education.
  • Ensuring that all the girls attain defined levels of learning.
  • Promoting quality learning environment for girls.

The aforementioned steps are necessary, to provide for the right- based and friendly approaches to the girl-child in terms of access to education and would enhance maximum development of their potentials. If the learning environment is friendly and gender sensitive then the girl would be motivated to go to school to enroll and to take up educational opportunities that are rightfully theirs.

Therefore, this would increase access, participation and performance of girls in school. Since Thailand conference of 1990 several regional networks and programs have been put in place to achieve gender parity. such programs, and strategic activities included the national Symposium on Education of the girl-child. The major landmark was the adoption of a new policy on re-entry. This policy permitted pregnant girls back into the school system after delivery. It is a government policy that any girl who breaks her school would be allowed to resume studies after delivery, this, fully implemented and if the girls take advantage of the policy, would reduce gender parity.

The other program which has set up centers to rescue girls from harsh situations, occasioned by outdated cultural values and practices, such as female circumcision and the consequent forced early marriages. In some communities in Nigeria girl-child is subjected to early marriages, deliberately arranged and planned by their parents in line with their cultural demands (Adamu, 2005). Such girls are denied childhood education and are over- burdened with motherhood responsibilities such as child bearing, raising children and looking after the husband before they are fully grown (Agun, 1996). In the process of getting married early the girls are denied access to education.  Thus, the major concerned here is girl -child education and their welfare in the society. This body of women Educationist is involved in rescuing the girl-child from such harsh cultural practices so as to secure a future for the girls. It is also concerned with tapping the girl’s potential and providing for their maximum development.

Another area of concerned is that of influencing policies pertaining to girl-child education and also influencing on school curriculum to make it more friendly to the girl -Child, to make the girl child more attracted to the learning environment. However, gender disparities remain a major challenge to achieving education for all. In most cases girls are less likely to be enrolled than boys. Hence two thirds (2/3) of world’s adults are illiterate women (UNESCO, 2020). This situation is very disappointing and calls for immediate action. It requires to be aggressively tackled by all. The widely carried out research demonstrate that there is a positive correlation between girl-women education and productivity. Study has also shown that educating girls and women is a major step towards breaking the cycle of illiteracy, poverty, marginalization and unnecessary population growth (Osinulu, 2007; Odu, 2006).

2.2 Girl -Education and Family and Community Development

Girl education impact positively on the general life in the society by virtue of her critical place later in life as a mother, wife and a member of the community. An educated girl contributes to the well-being of her family. She promotes quality life in terms of social economic status and enhances faster National development, hence the saying ‘Educate a woman; Educate the whole nation’ is true.

2.3 Challenges Facing Girl-Child Education in Nigeria.

The previous studies have provided evident that girl child education suffers from a lot of shortcomings. Some of the constraints facing girl- child education include stereotyped images, negative attitudes of teachers and parent’s perception of the value of investing in girl education in African countries and Nigeria in specific, poverty, coupled with traditions beliefs have also adversely affected girl education (Garba, 2014).

Poverty at household level forces the parents to make choices as to which child to enroll in school. Social, and cultural attitudes of the parents lead to boys getting favored while the girls are discriminated against (Grace, 2010). The girls are compelled by high poverty level to abandon school because of lack of school fees, in favor of their brothers.

Cultural practices such as early marriages and initiation rites practiced by some communities in some parts of Nigeria expose the girl-child to lifestyles not conducive to education. The initiation rites and female circumcision make girls to have attitudinal changes, perceiving themselves as adults ready for marriage. They view school as a place for children and therefore they drop out of school immediately after initiation rite. With early and sometimes forced marriage, the girl is compelled to abandon school to take up wifely and parental responsibilities at the expense of her Education.

Another challenge to girl-child education is teenage pregnancy. This has forced many girls to drop out of schools to go and give birth and look after the young one. Unfortunately, there is no clear policy on readmission of the girl back to school after delivery. Only a small number of girls return to school, about 10% in Nigeria.

School environment is another hindrance to the girl-child education. The teachers‟ attitudes and their teaching styles in class situation are sometimes hostile to the girl-child. Most teachers, probably due to their early childhood socialization, pay more attention to the boy students, leaving the girl to feel neglected and unwanted. This has negatively impacted on the girl’s academic achievement (Oke, 2000). The girls are made to believe that they cannot perform as well as the boys, in school and especially in the science subjects. The girls have continued to perform poorly in these subjects because of this belief, some have even dropped out from school. The transition rate for girls from primary to secondary schools in Nigeria is still below that of boys.

3.0 Research Methodology

All the female Principals, teachers and students serving and studying at secondary school level in eight selected local government in Yobe State constituted the population of the study. The study was delimited to the 5 girls’ secondary schools in eight selected local government in Yobe State. In order to ensure adequate representation of the population, eight principal, 66 teachers and 476 students were selected as sample through simple random sampling technique. Descriptive quantitative research design was used as it investigates the current situation of the girls’ education. A self-developed semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire was designed on five Point Likert Scale i.e., SA, A, UD, DA, SDA. There were total nine closed ended items in the questionnaire. In addition, three self-explanatory open-ended questions were given at the end to investigate the availability of educational facilities and the problems faced by girls in education. Pilot testing was conducted in two secondary schools which were not included in sample schools to remove the weaknesses, misconceptions and ambiguities of the questionnaire. For this purpose, questionnaires were distributed among the participants and responses were recorded. Analyzing the responses statistically, some items were found weak and were deleted in the light of suggestions given by the experts. Authentic results of the research study depend upon the validity and reliability of questionnaire. Validity was checked through six experts in the field of education. As the instrument was designed on five-point likerts scale and hence, Cronbach’s Alpha was employed for estimating the reliability of the research instrument. Using the SPSS reliability analysis procedure, an internal consistency analysis was calculated separately for each item. The overall reliability coefficient was found to be 0.83 which is acceptable for research instrument. Data collection process was started in the month of September, 2022 and completed in December, 2022. The researcher employed personal research assistants to visit the respective sample secondary schools and distribute the questionnaires among the participants. In this way data was collected. After the collection of data, it was organized, tabulated and analyzed. Statistical tools i.e. percentage and chi-square were adopted for data analysis.

4.0 Results and Discussions

The purpose of the study was to explore the factors that affect girls’ education at secondary level in five selected local government in Yobe State. The nature of the study was descriptive and quantitative research designed was employed. Aself-designed semi-structure questionnaire was adopted for collecting data regarding factors affecting girls’ education from the respondents. Data was analyzed by using statistical tools i.e., percentage and chi square. Further the responses were elaborated though bar graph. The whole statistical process is explained as under:

Table 3.1. Family related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education.
RespondentsSAAUDDASDATotalComparisonχ 2 dfp
Principals002004002008Principals/Teachers0.534ns
25%50%25%%%100% 
Teachers01202201101506066Teachers/Students1.124ns
18%33%16%23%9%100% 
Students8678101111100476Students/ Principals0.604ns
19%16%21%23%21%100% 

Tabulated value of χ 2 at 0.05 level = 09.488

The descriptive analysis of table 3.1suggests that the computed values of χ2 in all the three events were found to be 0.53, 1.12 and 0.60 which are statistically non-significant because these values are less than the table value of χ 2 at 0.05 level. Therefore, it is an indication that principals, teachers and students have the same opinions about the statement. They all observed that family related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education. Therefore, the statement “family related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education” is positively accepted. 

Table 3.2. Distance related factors, cause girls to drop out of secondary education.
RespondentsSAAUDDASDATotalComparisonχ 2 dfp
Principals004002002008Principals/Teachers0.284ns
50%25%25%%%100% 
Teachers02202601611066Teachers/Students0.534ns
33%39%24%2%2%100% 
Students2661712316100476Students/ Principals0.264ns
56%36%5%3%21%100% 

Tabulated value of χ 2 at 0.05 level = 09.488

The descriptive analysis of table 3.2 suggests that the computed values ofχ 2 in all the three events were found to be 0.28, 0.53 and 0.26 which are statistically non-significant because these values are less than the table value of χ 2 at 0.05 level. Hence, it is an indication that principals, teachers and students have the same opinions about the statement. They all observed that distance related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education. Therefore, the statement “distance related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education” were strongly agreed. 

Table 3.3. Parent related factors, cause girls to perform poorly in school.
RespondentsSAAUDDASDATotalComparisonχ 2 dfp
Principals001001006008Principals/Teachers0.574ns
12.5%12.5%  75%100% 
Teachers0102013021 029066Teachers/Students7.124ns
2%3%20%32%74%100% 
Students131621       194232476Students/ Principals0.774ns
2%3%4%41%49%100% 

Tabulated value of χ 2 at 0.05 level = 09.488

The descriptive analysis of table 3.3 suggests that the computed values ofχ 2 in all the three events were found to be 0.57, 7.12 and 0.77 which are statistically non-significant because these values are less than the table value of χ 2 at 0.05 level. This is an indication that principals, teachers and students have the same opinions about the statement. They all observed that parents related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education. Therefore, the statement “Parents related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary education to secondary education” is strongly agreed. 

Table 3.4. How parent’s educational accomplishment relatedfactors, cause girls not to transit from primary school to secondary school.
RespondentsSAAUDDASDATotalComparisonχ 2 dfp
Principals004003001008Principals/Teachers0.584ns
50%38%12%%%100% 
Teachers043012060302066Teachers/Students1.214ns
65%18%9%4%3%100% 
Students202193393111476Students/ Principals0.334ns
42%41%8%7%2%100% 

Tabulated value of χ 2 at 0.05 level = 09.488

The descriptive analysis of table 3.1 suggests that the computed values ofχ 2 in all the three events were found to be 0.58, 1.21 and 0.33 which are statistically non-significant because these values are less than the table value of χ 2 at 0.05 level. Therefore, it is an indication that principals, teachers and students have the same opinions about the statement. They all observed that parent’s educational accomplishment related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary school to secondary school. Therefore, the statement “parent’s educational accomplishment related factors, cause girls not to transit from primary school to secondary school” is strongly accepted. 

Table 3.5. How teachers absentees related factors, cause girls to dropout of secondary education.
RespondentsSAAUDDASDATotalComparisonχ 2 dfp
Principals004001003005Principals/Teachers1.324ns
50%12.5%37.5%%%100% 
Teachers0130310120406066Teachers/Students4.434ns
19%47%18%6%9%100% 
Students203163672518476Students/ Principals4.564ns
43%34%14%5%4%100% 

Tabulated value of χ 2 at 0.05 level = 09.488

Analyzing the outcome from table 3.5indicates that the calculated values of χ2 in all the three cases were found to be 1.32, 4.43 and 4.56 which are statistically non-significant because these values are less than the tabulated value of χ2 at 0.05 level. It plainly depicts that heads, teachers and students have identical views about the statement. They all agreed that teacher’s absentees negatively affect girls’ education. Hence the statement “Teacher’s absentees negatively affect girls’ education” is agreed.

Analysis of Opened Ended Questions
Table 3.6: Factors Affecting Girls’ Education Explained by Female Principals (n=8)
Factors affecting Girls’ EducationFrequenciesPercentage (%)Items Number
Lack of basic school facilities675%01
Poor financial status of the parents563%02
Long distance to school675%03
Girl’s involvement in household affairs788%04
Marriage at early age563%05
Lack of parental attention on their daughter education at home675%06
Lack of Teaching staff788%07
Illiteracy of the parents675%08
Unfeasibility of school building675%09
Political interference in school management563%10
Negative attitudes of parents about girl’s education788%11
Teacher’s absentees675%11

The table 3.6 above shows the various factors which affect girls’ education. Female heads responded that lack of basic school facilities (75%); poor financial status of the parents (63%); long distance to school (75%); girl’s involvement in household affairs (88%); marriage at early age (63%); lack of parental attention on their daughter education at home (75%); lack of teaching staff (88%); illiteracy of the parents (75%); unfeasibility of school building (75%); political interference in school management (63%); negative attitudes of parents about girls education (88%); teacher’s absentees (75%) are the factors that affect girls’ education.

Table 3.7 Factors Affecting Girls’ Education Explained by Female Teachers (n=66)

Factors affecting Girls’ EducationFrequenciesPercentage (%)Items Number
Involvement of Girls in household affairs6192%01
Absence of parental attention on their daughter education at home5989%02
Absence of basic educational facilities for teachers6090%03
Marriage at early age6395%04
Poor parent’s education5786%05
Poor financial status of the parents6192%06
Inadequate of teaching staff5380%07
Illiteracy of the parents6192%08
Political interference in school management6293%09
Long distance to school6192%10
 Unfeasibility of school building5888%11

The table 3.7 above indicates several factors which affect girls’ education. Female teachers responded that girls’ involvement in household affairs (92%); lack of parental attention on their daughter education at home (89%); lack of basic school facilities for teachers (90%); marriage at early age (95%); parents’ education (86%); poor financial status of the parents (92%); lack of teaching staff (80%); illiteracy of the parents (92%); political interference in school management (93%); long distance to school (92%); and unfeasibility of school building (88%); are the factors that affect girls’ education.

Table 3.8: Factors Affecting Girls’ Education Explained by Female Students (n=476)

Factors affecting Girls’ EducationFrequenciesPercentage (%)Items Number
Poor basic educational facilities and financial status of the parents’40184%01
Marriage at early age42689%02
Absence of qualified teaching staff40685%03
Girl’s involvement in household affairs Unpunctuality of teachers36777%04
Unhelpful attitudes of parents about girl’s education38881%05
Unfeasibility of school buildings39182%06
Long distance to school46197%07
Illiteracy of the parents39984%08
Teacher’s absentees40986%09
Frequent political interference in school management39884%10
Poor parental encouragement37378%11

Table 3.8 indicates that there are a wide range of factors that affect girls’ education. Female students responded that lack of basic educational facilities (84%); poor financial status of the parents (89%); marriage at early age (85%); lack of teaching staff (77%); girls’ involvement in household affairs(81%); unpunctuality of teachers (82%); negative attitudes of parents about girls education (97%); unfeasibility of school buildings (784%); long distance to school (86%); illiteracy of the parents (84%); teacher’s absentees (86%); political interference in school management (84%); and lack of parental encouragement (78%) are the factors that affect girls education.

Table 3.9: Overall Responses of Female Principals (n=8), Teachers (n=66) and Students (n=476) Regarding Lack of Educational Facilities

Factors affecting Girls’ EducationFrequenciesPercentage (%)Items Number
Absence of power generators facility52696%01
Absence of Computer laboratory52495%02
Lack of Proper security arrangement52194%03
Absence of telephone facility54198%04
Absence designed room for Library53297%05
Absenceof educational technologies51694%06
Absence of transport facility47787%07
Inadequate classrooms50191%08
Poor scientific equipment’s45683%09
Inadequate books in library52395%10
Poor toilets facilities for students44681%11
Poor electricity facility41976%12
Poor Furniture for students45683%13
Lack of teaching staff45683%14
Insufficient furniture of teachers42777%15
No Playground30263%16

Table 3.9 above demonstrates that there are some factors which adversely affect girl’s education. These are: lack of power generators facility (96%); non-availability of computer laboratory (95%); lack of proper security arrangement (94%); lack of telephone facility (98%); non-availability of specially designed room for library (97%); poor availability of educational technologies (94%); lack of transport facility (87%); insufficient classrooms (84.6%); insufficient scientific equipment’s (83%); insufficient books in library (95%); lack of toilets for students (81%); lack of electricity facility (76%); lack of furniture for students (83%); lack of teaching staff (83%); insufficient furniture of teachers (77%); and lack of playground (63%).

Table 3.10: Household Factors Affecting Girls’ Education Explained by Students (n=476)

Factors affecting Girls’ EducationFrequenciesPercentage (%)Items Number
Hauling water43191%01
Washing, cleaning and sweeping activities

45696%02
Looking after ofchildren, elder and sick cooking44092%03
Food preparation andcooking36777%04
Involvement in social activities43591%05
looking and Herding after animals32468%06
Harvesting and Cultivating37779%07
firewood Fetching32568%08
Cutting firewood30163%09

Table 3.10 above shows that there are different household activities which affect girls’ educational development. These factors include: hauling water (91.0%); cleaning, washing and sweeping activities (96%); looking after of children, elder and sick (92%); food preparation and cooking (77%); involvement in social activities (91%): herding and looking after animals (68%); cultivating and harvesting (79%); fetching firewood (68%); and cutting firewood (63%).

5.0 Conclusions

The following conclusions were arrived at after data analysis:

This study was designed to investigate the challenges of Girl-child education in Yobe state focusing on eight senior girls secondary across the state with main objectives of ascertaining and evaluating challenges of girl- child education, and make recommendations that will help the stakeholders to improve girl-child education across the state.

It was observed from the study that many factors affect girls’ education. These factors include illiteracy of the parents; lack of parental attention on their daughter education at home; poor financial status of the parents; lack of parental visits to school; negative attitudes of parents about girls’ education; lack of parental encouragement; long distance to school; lack of communication between teachers and parents; political interference in the school management; unfeasibility of school building; marriage of the girls at early age; girl’s involvement in household affairs; teacher’s absentees; insufficient teaching staff as compared to the strength of the school; lack of competent and skillful teachers; and unpunctuality of teachers.

In addition, some other factors are also responsible which negatively affect girls’ education. These are: lack of basic facilities; lack of basic facilities for teachers; unattractive salaries for teachers; lack of transport facility for students & teachers; lack of toilets; lack of benches and desks; lack of furniture for teachers; lack of power generators facility; lack of computer laboratory; lack of proper security arrangement; lack of telephone facility; lack of transport facility; lack of electricity facility; insufficient classrooms; insufficient scientific equipment’s; and insufficient books in library. Unfortunately, our girl’s schools have lack of these facilities and therefore girl’s education is badly affected due to lack of these facilities.

Household factors also negatively affect girls’ education at secondary school level. These factors include: food preparation and cooking; cleaning, washing and sweeping activities; fetching firewood; hauling water; cutting firewood; herding and looking after animals; cultivating and harvesting; looking after of children, elder and sick; and involvement in social activities. This suggests that even with the policies and programmes available, there is still several challenges of girl-child education that need to be dealt with if there should be equality in education. Education is the right of every girl everywhere and key to transforming her life and the life of her community. Although much has been done to improve the caliber and existence of girls’ education in Nigeria, there is still much that needs to be done. All barriers must be eliminated to enable all girls to development their full potential through equal access to education.

6.0 Recommendations

Based on the outcomes and conclusions from the study, the following recommendations have been advanced:

  • The major factor acknowledged as a barrier to girls’ secondary education is poverty.  Most of the parents cannot afford to pay for everyday expenditures of stationery, school funds and traveling expenditures. Hence, it is recommended that secondary education should be made free. In addition, stationary, uniform and books should be provided free. Poor students should be given financial assistance and scholarships.
  • It was equally observed that long distance to school adversely affects girls’ education at secondary therefore, it is intensely recommended that school building should be built on close and suitable location so that girls will benefit. In addition, the number of existing schools is not enough therefore it is necessary to construct more new secondary schools to provide educational opportunities to rural females near to their homes. In this way attendance of female teachers will also be ensured.
  • Delivery of essential facilities plays a crucial role in strengthening an organization or institutions. Therefore, it is recommended that essential educational facilities should be provided to each school.
  • Lack of adequate security arrangement negatively affects girls’ education. Therefore, it is recommended that proper security should be ensured. For this purpose, security guards should be assigned to schools by the state government.
  • It was observed that female teachers are not punctual therefore it is recommended that female teachers should be supervised. Hence, special supervisory staff should be engaged to supervise their attendance. In this way girls’ education at secondary level will be enhanced.
  • As it was observed that there is political interference in the affairs of school management which affects the performance of the school. Therefore, it is recommended that political inference should be discouraged.
  • As it was found that unattractive salaries for teachers in general and lack of basic facilities for teachers also affect girls’ education therefore it is recommended that female teachers should be given special package of salaries. In addition, basic facilities should be provided for teachers.
  • As it was found that majority of the parents have negative attitudes about the girls’ education therefore it is recommended that parents should be made aware of the benefits and importance of secondary education through mass media. In this way they will be able to motivate their daughters for further higher education.
  • It was uncovered that early marriage affects girls’ education at secondary level. Marriage at early age prevents the females from enrollment in secondary classes. Most of the parents consider marriage of their daughters as their primary responsibility. Therefore, it is recommended that parents should be convinced to not arrange marriage of their daughters before secondary education which is very crucial for a girl. Non- governmental organizations should play their role to mitigating the rate of early marriage of girls. The government should design and implement the laws of minimum age of marriage for females.
  • Rate of girl’s dropouts after passing primary education adopts disturbing, therefore it is recommended that the government especially ministry of education should design the special campaign to control the rising number of school dropouts after completing the primary education for females in particularly in the rural areas. This will be done through a good strategy which will be aimed at minimizinggirls’ dropouts at the age of attaining puberty will enable females to attain higher levels of education.
  • It was equally established that household factors also affect girls’ education at secondary level. Their precious time is wasted in preparing and cooking food; cleaning, washing and sweeping activities; fetching firewood; hauling water; cutting firewood; herding and looking after animals; cultivating and harvesting; looking after of children, elder and sick; and involvement in social activities. Therefore, it is recommended that parents should not involve their daughter in performing such activities.
  • It was discovered that there is communication gap between teachers and parents therefore it is recommended that special steps should be taken by the heads of the institutions to ensure communication between teachers and parents.
  • Lack of transport facility is one of the major problems faced by the girls of rural areas for going to schools and colleges outside their village. Therefore, it is recommended that transport facility should be provided to those female students who come from remote areas. It is also recommended that the people of that area should arrange this facility on cooperative basis so that their girls may get proper education.
  • Females should be motivated and encouraged for higher studies. For this purpose, old traditional and value system should be changed. Different programs through radio and television should be transmitted to emphasize the need of female education.
  • It was found that poor competent teaching staff adversely affects girls’ education at secondary level. Therefore, it is recommended that competent teaching staff should be appointed to fulfill the shortages in schools.


Reference

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Grace, E.T. (2010). Girls Child Education: Rising to challenge. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 14(3): 107.

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Jeffery, R. and Basu, M. A. (1996). Girls’ Schooling, Women’s Autonomy and Fertility Change in South Asia. New Delhi: Sage Publications

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