THE ASSESSMENT OF CAUSES OF GIRLS DROP-OUT FROM SCHOOL A CASE STUDY OF SOME SELECTED SCHOOLS IN TALATA MAFARA, IN ZAMFARA STATE

THE ASSESSMENT OF CAUSES OF GIRLS DROP-OUT FROM SCHOOL A CASE STUDY OF SOME SELECTED SCHOOLS IN TALATA MAFARA, IN ZAMFARA STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0              Background of the Study

A dropout is considered, a student who for any reason other than death leaves school before graduation without transferring to another school. Dropping out of school is a well documented social problem and often present daunting circumstances for adolescents. Dropping out is also associated with delinquency, and low school achievements. One of the major reasons for children being kept out-of-school was the lack of education of parents. It was found that parents’ attitudes towards education have a major effect on education. It seems that when either of the parents is literate or especially when women are literate, they are more willing to send their children, especially girls, to the school.

“The huge dropout rates, however, indicate that children, girls more often than boys, are needed for other activities such as looking after other siblings, domestic work and help with farm work. Parents play a crucial role in keeping young people in school. The degree and nature of family support are determined by such factors as a stressful/unstable home life, socio-economic status, minority membership, siblings’ completion of high school, single parent household, poor education of parents and primary language other than English” (Horn, 1992).

The girls who are denied educational opportunities disproportionately as compared to boys suggest clear cut discrimination in household behaviour. Parental and social attitudes in most northern- Nigeria cultural context tend to perpetuate the stereotypes of girls being transient members of families on their journey to marriage and boys being the mainstay of support to ageing parents. The subordination of the adult women in the household runs parallel with a subordination of the girl child, socializing the latter into the pre-ordained role that she will assume as an adult. The implications of such unequal treatment result in limiting the opportunities and choices that girl children may have both in the present and in the future. To use Amartya Sen’s felicitous phrase, “the capabilities of girls will be severely restricted by the denial of education. If freedom is the goal of development, it will be substantially restricted by the fact that illiterate girls will become illiterate women.” One way to empower women would be to bring them out of the limiting boundaries of the household into the wider world of social and political relations. In order to equip women to deal as men do with that external world, education plays an important role. In contrast, the current policies of the state will perpetuate the confinement of women to their homes and hinder their progress and passage into the world of the ‘city.’

Ali (1974), though a newly adopted term in our educational policy, the girls’ education concept is widely used and accepted in the northern part in Nigeria and other part of developing nation. But so many reasons have been identified as being responsible for the low participation of girls in schools. These include socio-cultural factor, religion, socio-economic factor.

More than half of the total population in Nigeria is female and out of this number, only 20% are literate, girl’s education was created with the objectives of educating girls, providing more adequate opportunities for girls and encouraging girl’s participation in social and economic activities in the country. In Africa and indeed Nigeria, there are still more boys receiving formal education than girls.

In 1990, educational statistics showed that there were 3.1 million boys dropping out of school between the ages of 6-11 years as compared to 4.5 million girls. At the primary level, the average ratio of girls to boys is about forty six percent (46%) at the secondary level, the girl population drop to above statistics that the drop-out rate for girls in formal educational system is high because in a situation where a large number of girls are enrolled, only few manage to finish their studies at various levels. This obviously does not augur well for the society.

Allowing access to education particularly to females enhances family planning and reduces infant mortality rate, it helps to integrate females into the work force and it is instrumental in changing attitude to gender relation even among the females themselves. We find out that girls still lack behind boys especially at the tertiary level of education.

Suara (1997), the causes of drop-out are due to transfer of parents, early marriage for girls, and apprenticeship for boys due to lack of funds for parents to continue sponsoring their children. Some parents felt that children who not continue schooling after the primary school education will just be saddled with a non profiting first school leaving certificate and so have to drop out to seek for more beneficial skill outside the school setting. Consequently, 50% of the principals in secondary schools identified that low-socio-economic background of some parent are responsible for the drop-out of their children from school especially the girls.

1.1              Statement of the Problems

There are various problems and challenges facing girls child education in this state like early marriage, keeping of bad companies, ignorance of religious teachings, ideology of seeing western education againsting religious beliefs, and seeing girls child education as waste. As a result of these, this research give answers to some research questions

1.2       Research Questions

This research gives answers to the following questions:

a.       What are the causes of girls drop-out from schools?

b.      What are the effects of counselling to girls drop-out?

c.       Do you think that girl child education is an economic waste?

d.      What are the measures to reduce and control girls drop-out?

1.3       Hypothesis of the study

·         There is no significant difference between factors responsible for drop out and dropping out of the students from secondary school.

1.4       Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to examine the causes of girls drop-out from secondary schools in the Country with a particular reference to Talata Mafara local government area of Zamfara State and proffer possible solutions to the identified problem. The specific objectives are:

·         To assess the various causes of girls drop out

·         To examine the control measures to reduce girls drop-out

·         To analyze the ideology of the respondents on girls child education

1.5       Significance of the Study

The findings and suggestions of this study would not only assist to reduce the problems but perhaps to illuminate the problems in the country

1.6       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study is centered on some selected Government Secondary School in Talata Mafara of which one is Government Girls College, Government Girls Day Secondary School, Talata Mafara.

1.7       DEFINITION OF TERMS

Drop-out: A dropout is considered a student who for any reason other than death leaves school before graduation without transferring to another school.


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