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1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is a process of mapping experiences and finding a variety of reliable routes to optimal states in non-optimal states. Education is a key to industrialization and modernization and without it; one may find it difficult to develop socially, economically and politically, (Berg: 2012). Female education cause improvement in family welfare, children’s health, lower infertility rates, and increased opportunities for self-employment while older children are involved in current welfare (Boyden: 1996) elsewhere. Low enrolments are associated with lower Gross National Product (GNP) per capita and the association is stronger for countries with lower female enrolments (Behrman: 1991). Since women are concentrated in primary education, the quality and quantity of women’s education has probably been adversely affected.
Children in Nigeria face a number of obstacles that prevent their full participation in society. Traditional customs often result in girls being dropped out of school at an early age to help manage the household. Only a handful of children that enrolled primary schools complete SSS 3. The high female dropout rate in basic education is the result of a number of factors, including cultural practices such as early marriage, sexual activity, teenage pregnancy and child trafficking. The research brought out some retrospective features of the school dropouts and of course, the prospective aspects as well.
This informs the rationale for the research, to find a solution to female dropouts, which are creeping out in our society at a higher rate. In finding solution to such a challenge, the study will specifically try to answer why school children especially the females are dropping out of School and the likely problems that the individual, the society and the nation may face as a result of female dropouts. A common feature observed in most developed nations is high attainment in education than the developing nations. For example in 1996 as reported by the World Bank, Britain had 98% education attainment, United States of America 89% while Nigeria and Sudan had 59% and 33% respectively.
This probably informs the reason the Federal Government is seen to have priority attention to the level of education in the first two levels (primary and secondary) as reflected in the launched of Universal Basic Education Scheme in May 2000. However, it is interesting to note here that the government that has invested large funds of its limited resources to increase the quality of education especially at the secondary school level will allow any child who wants to drop out of school to do that at will. Although there are some reasons as to the increase rate of female dropouts, which include: poor academic performance, poverty, school phobia, ill health, quest for money, lack of interest in school e.t.c, there is still more as to the reasons for dropping out of school. It is therefore the prerogative of this research to bring to bear those reasons, causes, effects as well as the implication of female dropout in secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A common feature observed in most developed nations is higher attainment in education than the developing nations. For instance, according to Egwunyenga and Nwadiani (2004) Britain had 98% education attainment, United State of America 89% while Nigeria and Sudan had 59% and 33% respectively as reported by the World Bank (1996) on development indicators. This properly inform the reason the Federal Government is seen to have priority attention to the supply of education in the first two levels (primary and secondary) as reflected in the launched Universal Basic Education (UBE) Scheme in May 2000. However, it is uninteresting to observe that the Government that has invested a large chunk of its limited resources to increase the supply of education especially at the Secondary School level, allows any child who wants to dropout of school to do so at will. The National Policy on Education (2004) stated that the School system will be on the 6-3-3-4 plan. It opined that the system will be flexible enough to accommodate both formal and non-formal education and will allow leaving and coming back to the school system. This is because the Curriculum is diversified to cater for those who wish to leave the school system at certain levels and those who wish to come back to school to complete their course of study. Hence, the rate at which Secondary School students are observed to be leaving school at will to engage in diverse socio-economic activities calls for the review of the policy statement. This is with a view to saving scarce productive resources which would have been put into alternative use from being wasted on those who will not like to complete their school programmes. These are the school dropouts who this study intends to establish the rate, and magnitude of occurrence in Secondary Schools in Kaduna State between 2001-2011. It is the opinion of most parents and school administrators that boys withdraw from school to go into buying and selling while the girls migrate into urban centers in search of daily bread. Nwadiani (1998) is not happy with parents whose preference to menial jobs brings quick monies to solve domestic problems. It is also important to note that besides students dropping from the system, there are those who are observed to dropout within the system. These are students that willfully leave one public school and enter another or from one public school to a private school (Nwakobi 1990). What is not clear however is the rate, magnitude, and factors responsible for students dropout in the school system. The problem is on the rate and magnitude of dropout among Secondary School students in Kaduna State and the factors responsible for this ugly trend in the school system. The study will therefore strive to find answers to the following questions to clarify the above issues.
The rate at which females in Secondary Schools drop out is alarming. This therefore means that social and public policies need to be put in place to help tackle this important issue in the society. The problem facing Nigerian Educational System cannot however be 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 makes for concern over female Education pertinent and deserving of special attention. Thus, the problem of female students’ dropout in Nigeria seems worth stressing.
Right from the time of the adoption of formal Education, Nigeria has recorded a high rate of dropouts from Secondary Schools(especially females).The issue of female dropouts from Secondary Schools, its causes, effects and implication centres mostly on the student emotional being, mental being, social and moral being as well as economic being. The causes, effects and implications of female dropout in the society, form the basis for this for this research work.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
1. What are the causes of female Secondary school dropouts?
2. To what extent have the Socio-cultural, norms and values lead to the dropout rate of female students from Secondary School?
3. Is the rate of dropouts more among the male students than female students?
4. Does the Economic condition in the society and family leads to female dropping out of school?
5. What is the implication of female dropouts on the family and the society? And what is the way out?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to identify the causes and effects of female dropouts. This purpose will be achieved through the following objectives:
1. To examine the causes of female Secondary school dropouts
2. To determine the extend media have help to Mitigate against the dropout rate of female Student
3. To determine whether the Economic condition of the family and society influence female dropouts
4. To identify the implication of female dropout to the family and society
1.5 Significance of the Study
Findings from this study is hoped to benefit Educators and Curriculum developers as it will bring to light the causes, effects and the implication of female school dropouts as well as the role of the media in education. The study will also serve as a measuring ground to ascertain the implications of female school dropouts in the society and the possible ways to help solve the problem.
Its hope that findings from this study will be of benefit to the general reading public, as it will certainly contribute its quota in providing some documented information on the causes, effects and implication of Secondary School female dropouts.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work will focus on the effects of female secondary school dropout in Sabon-gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It will also look at the frequency of female enrolment into secondary schools and rate at which they leave the school.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Considering the fact that it is an academic work that is expected to last for a specific period of time, it will be difficult to cover a all the Secondary Schools in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area due to the time frame and other logistics. As such the researcher will be looking at three (3) Secondary School within the study area of which one is a girl’s Secondary School and the other two is a boys and girls Secondary School.
1.8 Definition of Terms
School Dropouts: A dropout is any student who for one reason or the other leaves school prematurely before graduation, without transferring to another school. (Kamla-Ra, 2007).
School Phobia: School phobia is an anxiety disorder of childhood and adolescence, Characterized by an intense fear of going to school.
Mitigation: According to Cambridge Advance Learners Dictionary, Mitigation is making something less harmful, unpleasant or bad. Mitigation means reducing risk or loss from the occurrence of any undesirable event, in general mitigation means to minimize the degree of any loss or harm.
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