AN ASSESSMENT OF PARENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION

AN ASSESSMENT OF PARENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION

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ABSTRACT

The study investigated the attitudes of parents’ towards girl-child education in Kaduna State as perceived by teachers and school principals. The population of the study consists of all the school principals and secondary school teachers in Kaduna State. The instrument used in collecting data was questionnaire. Two Null hypotheses were postulated and tested using percentages and standard deviation as descriptive and t-test as inferential statistics to test the opinions of the respondents. From the findings of this study, three hypotheses were rejected while one was accepted. It was however discovered that preference of male over female education is common in the society and poverty is a major factor in terminating girl-child education in Kaduna State.

 In addition, it was discovered that government participation is still inadequate to facilitate change in the area. On these bases, the researcher recommends the urgent intervention of government to implement the laws governing girl-child education so as to enhance and change the negligence of girl-child education as provisioned in national policy on and provide equal access to education.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1              BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Girl-child education is one of the issues that seem to be receiving prominent attention in Nigeria today. The development is indeed a reflection of global trend towards girl-child empowerment. Mention liberation, greater equality and indiscrimination. The background to this is predicated on the understanding of the noble role of girl-child in the socio-economic and political development at any country (Nwaubami, 1998). Girl–child no doubt are the most influential but often neglected group in most of the Nigerian societies. The neglect to a large extend has made girlchild one of the disadvantaged groups in the developing countries at the world where they are marginalized on account of gender, social and cultural bias as well as other stereotypes (UNESCO 1992). In Nigeria, education is perceived as an instrument per excellence for effective national development (N.P.E 2004). In endorsing the importance of education for all Nigerians, the National Basic education in a variety of forms, depending on the need and possibilities be provided for all citizens bearing this goal in mind, government is expected to treat citizens equally in the process of providing educational opportunities. This therefore suggest that no Nigerian child should be deemed access to education and self-fulfillment on the basis of some perceived misconceptions, like parental look Warm attitude, social stigma and gender superiority e.t.c. Indeed girl-child education is very important for the overall development of the country. The place of girl-child in our society is indeed such as important one that any deliberate neglect of their education could portend danger for the entire society. In fact, it has been often said to teach a boy child is to teach an individual, to teach a girl-child is to teach a family and a nation (Frederick 1981). In education female pass on their knowledge to their peers and other family members particularly their daughters there by multiplying the effect of their own education. It could be said that while education is essential for boys and girls, the benefits of educating, girls tend to be greater. This is so because female education has been found to have more significant impact on poverty reduction and the provision of sustainable development by influencing family size and female labour participation. Hence parents should always think of these merits of girl-child education and allow their girl-child to be educated.

Parents are very influential in the lives of their children. They have the ability to shape, sustain and develop pupils who will be active, diligent, creative and tolerant, through their positive involvement in the learning process and educational activities. Parents are also capable of repressing and destroying the motivation and ability of their children through neglect and in difference to their achievements. UNICEF (2009:12) stated that, a key to children doing well in school is for parents‟ to be involved in their education”. That involvement can range from providing meaningful learning experiences at home to volunteering to help with school activities. Parents recognize that school success is crucial if their children are to have a positive future. It is a well known fact that students achieve more in school when their parents are engaged in their education, and children whose parents are involved generally have higher grades and test scores as well as more positive attitudes and behaviors to learning.

The Northern region which is so much dominated by the Hausas who have no interest in girl-child education as it was viewed exclusively for the male child. The girl-child was not only denied formal education, but also the Qur’anic education. The few girls that attempted school during Western education after the amalgamation in 1914 did that under duress. Most of the girls grew up believing that life begins with hawking and ends up in early marriage. While the boys received rigorous training both in formal and informal education i.e. Qur’anic school, Farming and animal husbandry under the instruction of their fathers. The girl-child was undergoing training at home under the supervision of their mothers, they were taught how to take care of children, prepare food, make clothes, wash utensils and general cleanliness of their surroundings. Apart from these tasks, the girls had to assist their mothers in different trades and were finally prepared for their future roles as brides. The problems of the lack of girl-child education emanates from the root of: · The culture of the northerners · Religion · Poverty · Weak father figures and ignorant mothers who knew no better · Early marriage There are regional disparities in the level of girl-child access to basic education. A recent survey shows that a number of girl-children had no formal education in post primary schools in Kaduna State. Even though the case was slightly ease better than before. The enrolment of children to primary, secondary, technical and tertiary institutions as upheld by Oleribe (2002) also discriminate against female gender. Male enrolment is more than girls in all levels of education. Out of the primary schools enrolment indicated an imbalance ratio as only of, in Kaduna State, 41% were girl- child and many ended up not going for secondary education. In all parts of the state girls lag behind boys in access to education. It is important to note that despite the progress made towards girl-child education in the developed and some parts of the world, years of neglect have left very high illiteracy rates for girl-child in many developing countries of the world. Girls which are to remain in school up to higher institutions have not yet been able to and the situation arised because parents are not encouraging girl to be educated. Most of the girls in Kaduna State who were of school age and have completed primary education parades the street hawking items in other to prepare for early marriage. Even though there are educated girls in Kaduna State recently, the number can be much higher if adequate attention is given to eradicate the problem.

1.2              STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The problem of girl-child education is not a regional, state, National or continent but a global issue of concerned. Education is the most viable instrument by man to conquer his environment and charted his destiny. Girl-child education has been a burning and continuous issue in the developing countries of the world in which Nigeria is one. Its existing problem in Nigeria more especially in the Northern part of the country in which Kaduna State is one of the states and so it need to be clearly addressed. The problem as pointed out by Mohammed (2008) ranges from either girls of school ages hawk goods on the street as parents’ exploit them, a times, girls were engaged in early marriages, a times as a result of poverty and financial problem where some parents cannot afford to pay school fees for their children. In other cases, the problems emancipates from the fact that some parents considers educating girl child as waste of time for the sake of gender disparity or inferiority complex. Girl child has suffered enough discrimination and is time to eradicate inequality or unequal right to education and provide equal access to education as provisioned in the National Policy on education. Parents needs to be enlighten on the importance of girl-child education and to be discouraged in engaging girlchild to early marriage and hawking of goods while teachers should handle girlchild with cares in school for enrolment and retention purpose in other to achieve the MDG’s.

Parental involvement and support has a great deal of influence on girls‟ participation and level of success attained in education. Parents‟ neglect can also play important role in the failure of their children. Parents‟ involvement were influenced by so many factors ranging from ignorance, poverty, cultural factors, distance between the home and where the school is situated, utility, value of education among others. Ignorance is a serious ugly trend to parental involvement towards girl-child education. Poor or little knowledge about the importance of Girl-Child Education among parents‟ especially in the rural communities hinders parents‟ involvement on girl-child education. There is a strong belief among rural parents‟ that marriage is more important than girls‟ education, and more rewarding. Phrases Such as „Aure Bautan Ubangiji‟ (A.B.U) are very common among secondary school girls. This also reinforced the culture of early marriage. Parents who keep their girls beyond twelve years are usually under pressure by the members of the community to marry them out else the society will be pointing accusing fingers on them ( i.e. the parents) and girl child will be called prostitute. It was based on these problems identified that the researcher therefore develop an instrument titled An Assessment of Parents’ Attitude towards girl child education.

1.3              OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The objectives of the study are to:

1. Determine the influence of parental income on Girl-Child Education in selected local government areas of Kaduna state.

2. Examine the extent to which parental interest on academic work influence the Girl-Child‟s Education in selected local government areas of Kaduna state.

3. Examine the influence of parental educational background on the Girl-Child Education in selected local government areas of Kaduna state.

4. Examine the influence of family size on the Girl-child education in Kaduna state.

1.4              RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

HYPOTHESES ONE

Ho: Financial income of parents does not significantly influence the Girl-child education in selected local government areas of Kaduna state  

Hi: Financial income of parents significantly influences the Girl-child education in selected local government areas of Kaduna state  

HYPOTHESES TWO

Ho: Parental interest in academic work does not significantly influence the girl child education in selected local government areas of Kaduna state.

Hi: Parental interest in academic work significantly influences the girl child education in selected local government areas of Kaduna state.

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Research of this kind is of utmost Value. It is important since it is hoped that the outcome of the research will help educational planners, school administrators, teachers, policy makers, parents or guardians and all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of some fundamental issues related to girl-child education in Kaduna State. Through the findings and recommendations of this research, parents may be more enlightened on their responsibilities towards girlchild education in Kaduna State. It is also hoped that this will in-turn enhance girl-child education which will lead to their contributions to the development of Kaduna 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. She will not suffer any further violence again. infact the benefits are innumerable.

 1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study is primary concerned with an assessment of parents’ attitudes towards girl-child education. This study/project work covers Kaduna state of Nigeria. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following

 a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study     

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS


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