According to a recent survey , forty percent of children aged 6-11 in Nigeria do not have access to any form of formal education, with the Northern region, recording the lowest school attendance rate in the country, particularly for girls. Despite a significant increase in the net enrollments rates in recent years, a large percentage of girls are not in school still.
According to ILO(2009) over Jane Butiga(2008) observed that parents demand for the education of their daughters is low, reflecting on both cultural norms and domestic duties in and around the house.
Moreover, the cultural perception of girls as child minders, marriage materials and a liability to the family influences their educational attainment in the contemporary society. Meanwhile, in some household, parents think that the education is a waste for their daughters who will move into their husband’s family and that the gain in productivity or income due to education will accrue to her husband’s family.
Another major factor affecting the education of the girl child in the Northern parts of Nigeria is poverty.
Poverty is a limiting factor to the education of the girl child. Discoll and Nagel(2010) asserted that "parents struggling to raise a child, often sees education as adding extensive stress to the family" hence many girls who should be in school are withdrawn to earn an income for the family.
In some parts of Nigeria, it is a known fact that the input of the girl child into the family income is so high that it becomes economically unwise to allow such a child enroll in a school. Examples of such scenarios include; hawking food items. The girl child also helps with major household tasks and also look after her younger ones thereby reduces the family burden.
Parental influence is another contributing factor as parents tends to prioritize the male child when it comes to education, recognizing them as future heads of the family.
Other factors limiting the education of the girl child includes; religion, customs and traditions and child marriage.
Having talked about the factors limiting the girl child education, here are some solutions to the above factors:
Organizing awareness programs aim at enlightening the society on the benefit of educating the girl child.
Awarding of grants and scholarship to girls who can’t afford school
Partnering with Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’S) to empower the girl child.
Provision good educational infrastructures and ensuring that education is affordable for all. -
North Central Region, Nigeria.