PROJECT TOPIC- CHALLENGES OF GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY OF JOS NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is a human right that should be given to all human beings. There are lot of international human right instruments that provide for education as a fundamental human right which include the universal declaration of human right (1948), international convention on economic, social and cultural right (1960) etc. The relationship between education and development is well established such that education is a lay index of development.
Research has also shown that schooling improves productivity, health and reduces negative features of life such as child labour. This is why there has been a lot of emphasis particularly in recent times for all citizens to have access to basic education. It has however been established by researchers that improving female education is crucial for national development. Education is a basic human right and has been recognized as such since the 1948 adoption of the universal declaration of human rights.
Since then, numerous human rights treaties have reaffirmed these rights and have supported entitlement to free compulsory primary education for all children. In 1990 for example, the education for all (EFA) communication was launched to ensure that by 2015, all children particularly girls, those in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality.
According to UNESCO report, about 90 million children are not in school and majority of them are children. Most girls do not have access to education despite the fact that it is their rights. The girl- child is often saddled with responsibilities, which may make her not to have access to quality education. A 2007 UNESCO and UNICEF report addressed the issue of education from a rights-based approach. Three interrelated rights were specified and must be addressed in concert in order to provide education for all. The three interrelated rights are:
- The right of access to education. That is, education must be available for, accessible to and inclusive of all children.
- The right to quality education: Education needs to be child-centred, relevant and embrace a broad curriculum and be appropriately resourced and monitored.
- The right to respect within the learning environment: Education must be provided in a way that is consistent with human rights, equal for culture, religion and language and free from all forms of violence.
Beyond the basic needs for education to support one’s self and family in later years, many social ills occur in the vacuum of free and accessible education. UNICEF underscored the link between child labour and a lack of education in their 2008 education for all global monitoring reports, over 100 million children was account for 70 percent of all child labourer, work in agriculture. In rural areas where access to schools, availability of trained teachers and educational supplies is severely limited.
Though, the education gap runs much deeper than a rural-urban divide. Even in urban areas poor and marginalized children are able to benefit from greater access to school facilities because of cost, caste and culture. Also lock of free education encourages sexual exploitation of children. Some orphans turn to prostitution to earn the money for school fees and in the process, contract HIV/AIDS.
For many parents who are dying of HIV/AIDS, the greatest worry on their minds is who will pay for the schools, supplies uniforms for their children once they have passed? No parent or child should face such a terrible choices or worries. It is true that many governments make provision for the education of their citizens but the provisions most of the time do not take into cognizance the peculiarities of the girl.
In that case, the girl-child may not have access to education, which is a fundamental human right. Research has shown that millions of girls do not have access to schools despite the concerted efforts to push the cause forward. Okeke, Nzewi and Njoku (2008) identify child labour, poverty and lack of sponsorship, quest for wealth, bereavement, truancy, broken home, engagement of children and house helps as factors or the clog in the wheel of girl’s access to education.
The right to education, which is a fundamental human right, is frequently denied to girls in some African countries. The then United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, stated that in Africa, when families have to make a choice due to limited resources of either a girl or a boy child, it is always the boy that is chosen to attend school. In Africa, many girls are prevented from getting the education entitled to them because families often send their daughters out to work at a young age so that they can get the additional income they may need to exist beyond subsistence level and finance the education of sons.
Abdulahi in Maduagwu and Mohammed (2006) notes that the importance of education in the life of an individual cannot be over emphasized. Central to the most basic problems facing the girl-child is her access to qualitative education. This is because without education, the realization of all other rights e.g socio-economic and political rights becomes impossible. In the typical Nigerian setting, education of the girl-child has not received serious attention.
The general apathy in this regard especially among unlettered parents has to do with the materialistic concept of education, that is, the belief that the girl-child will eventually marry and leave the family with whatever material benefits derivable from her education to her husband’s home. They would rather prefer to invest in the education of the male child who is expected to marry in the family name (Adewale, 1997).
Traditionally, the role of women has been that of home maintenance and rearing of children. Right from childhood, the girl-child is prepared and trained with the ability of cooking, learning and all kinds of chores in the home, all directed towards a better house wife. The gender role type thus, pose a bias against the girls by the society. By and large, the predicament of the Nigerian girl-child is enormous. Thus, in Nigeria, the girl-child is faced with a lot of problems and constraints, which act as serious impediments towards her self-realization. It is therefore in line with the above that the researcher intends to ascertain the challenges the girl-child faces in terms of education with Jos North Local Government Area as an area of study.
PROJECT TOPIC- CHALLENGES OF GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY OF JOS NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Education is seen as the process of acquiring skills, knowledge etc which will help an individual to perform better in a society. It is the process of transmitting values, cultures, etc from one generation to the other. Education is seen as a human right that should be given to all human beings. There is however no doubt that the women folk have suffered depression and neglect in the pat of which they are regarded as second class citizens in so many ways including their choice of disciplines to under go in school.
Girls and women constitute 50% of Nigeria’s population. Ironically, less than 39% of the total female populations are literates as against 63% literate male population. This is because in most societies, it is still considered irrelevant to send the girl-child to school. The issue is about the girl child. She is the dawn, the bedrock and the future of any nation or society aspiring for sustainable development.
However, she has continued to be the subject of rejection, marginalization and deprivation. In Nigeria, the predicaments of the girl child are better imagined. They rear their ugly heads in the area of denial of access to quality education, good health, survival and incidence of child labour, child trafficking, prostitution and ritual sacrifices.
Against this backdrop, it becomes pertinent to ask: what are the challenges of girl-child education in Jos north local government area.
Thus, the problem this study seeks to investigate is the challenges the girl-child faces in an attempt to be educated.
The above problem forms the basis for the study.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to assess the challenges of girl-child education in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. Specifically however, the study aims at:
- Ascertaining the extent to which girl-child education is embraced in Jos North Local Government Area.
- Finding out the extent to which the girl- child has access to education in Jos North local Government Area.
- Finding out the factors (if any), which impede the effective education of girl child in Jos North Local Government Area.
- The study is also aimed at making recommendations based on the finding.
- Contributing to the reservoir of knowledge in the field of education where future researchers can easily consult.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the problem and the purpose of the study stated above, the following research questions will be drawn to guide the study:
- What are the factors which hinder the effective education of the girl –` child in Jos North Local Government Area?
- To what extent is girl-child education embraced in Jos North Local Government Area?
- To what extent does the female child have access to education in Jos North Local Government Area.
- What is the level of effectiveness of the girl-child education in Jos North Local Government Area.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following is the statement of hypothesis for the study:
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the level of girl-child and boy child education in Jos North Local Government Area.
H1: There is a significant difference between the level of girl-child and boy child education in Jos North Local Government area.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study cannot be over emphasized. Thus, the study is important for the following reasons:
It is hoped that the study will bridge the gap that exist between the boy child and girl child in terms of education, not only in Jos North but across the country. Further more, it is also hoped that the result of the study and the re-commendations will in a large measure assist the entire local government and the entire government educational policy makers to formulate policies that will favour the girl- child.
The study serves as a reservoire of knowledge where future researchers can easily tap knowledge as the work will be documented.
The study is significant in the sense that it looks at how female-child education is being embraced in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the challenges of girl-child education in Jos North Local Government Area. Geographically however, the study is limited to Angwa Rogo, Tudun Wada, Jos town, Bida bidi and Naraguta.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF TERM
The following key terms will be defined:
- Education: Education is the process of providing information to an inexperienced person to help him or her develop physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, politically and economically. It means the process of helping an individual to acquire adequate and appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes and values known as cognitive, psychomotor and affective behaviours to be able to function optimally as a citizen.
- The girl-child: The girl child is a biological female offspring from birth to eighteen (18) years of age. It is the age before one becomes young adult. This period covers the crèche, nursery or early childhood (0 – 5years) primary (6 – 12). During this period, the young child is totally under the care of the adult who may be her parents or guardians and older siblings. It is made up of infancy, childhood, early and adolescent stages of development. During this period, the girl child is malleable, builds and develops her personality and character. She is very dependent on the significant others, those on whom she models her behaviour through observation, repetition and imitation. Her physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional developments start and progress to get to the peak at the young adult stage. The girl-child simply refers to the female child that has not reached the age of Adult.
- Challenges: The term can simply be referred to as obstacles, hindrances that stand on the way of someone. They are those things that prevent someone from achieving certain goals. Challenges could also mean problems. That is, the problems that one is passing through.
- Informal education: It is the type of educational system in which someone acquires knowledge, skills, etc under one’s native culture.
- Formal education: It is the type that takes place in a formal setting, where you have a teacher who is professionally trained to teach. This is the type of education we find in our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
- Non-formal education: This is the type of education that is neither formal nor informal.
- Socio-cultural: It simply refers to the people’s way of life and their belief.
- Gender: This is the sum of cultural values, attitude, roles, practices and characteristics of attributes based on sex.