1.1 Background to the Study
Education has been recognised as the most important factor used by man to conquer his environment and it has charted his destiny. Education is an intrinsic value in itself needing no further justification. In fact the Girl Child becomes better equipped to deal with adverse situations. Schooling also provides a break in the habits and culture which stultifies the growth of the girl child. It opens up options and possibilities new dreams and a newer future. More than anything schools provide leisure, time and space of their own; thus when in school they are no longer exploited, no longer have to work for others, will discover themselves and their potentialities, will acquire self esteem and confidence. This is their first step towards gender equality and breakdown of stereotypes; this is the beginning of their role as individuals in their own right. However, there is the need to fully understand the aims and objectives of girl-child education:
- To equalize same opportunities accorded to their male counterparts
- Girls education enhances their social and economic value for the development of the society;
- It keeps them fully employed so that they can engage into more meaningful development hence improve the public life
- It will speed up literacy among their siblings when they finally settle for a family.
- It will make them more enlightened on how to live a healthier life as well as that of the family
- It increases their ability to protect themselves from venereal diseases such as HIV; AID etc
- vii. It will help them have a better understanding of how to prepare balanced diet, woman delivery issues and how to maintain good health and how to avoid maternal mortality and child mortality.
- It will enhance their ability to fight poverty and underdevelopment as well as malnutrition.
The U.N.’s “strategic objectives” for the “girl-child” [Para. 259-285]: The ratification of the convention of the rights of the child by all member states is vital in achieving set objectives. Efforts need to be intensified to encourage enrolment of Girl Child, this could be done by embarking on a study research.
Lack of education or acquisition of knowledge among women who in Nigeria and most other countries constitute over 80 percent of the total population, especially in sub-Sahara Africa a larger number of young girls still do not attend school. The global figure for out-of- school children is estimated at 121million, 65million being girls (UNICEF, 2007).
In Nigeria, girls’ access to basic education, especially in northern states, has remained low. As few as 20 percent of women in the North West and North East of the country are literate and have attended school. Source; the 2006 National School Census (NSC) revealed a net enrolment ration (NER) of 80.6% suggesting that a substantial proportion (19%).
Despite the launching of the Universal Basic Education Scheme in 1999 and the enactment of the UBE Act in 2004, progress in the enrolment into Junior Secondary Schools has been very slow. From a total enrolment of 218,597.4 in 1999, it rose to 368,464.4 in 2003 and declined to 282,680.0 in 2008. Female enrolment equally registered very small increases from a figure of 104,289.4 in 1999, it peaked at 163,977.6 in 2005 only to fall to 127,086.5 in 2008. Gender parity ratios began to improve from 2003 when it rose to 0.77 and attained 0.82 in 2008.
FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST THE ENROLMENT AND RETENTION OF GIRL-CHILD STUDENTS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KADUNA STATE