Socio-Economic Development and the Girl-Child Education: a Look at Jos North Local Government, Plateau State
The problem of girl child education in Nigeria’s Jos North Local Government Area has socio-economic aspects related to traditional gender roles. The research presented in this article examines girl child education and its impacts, with the view of finding out why few women are educated in Jos North metropolis.
Some parents withdraw their daughters from school for economic reasons or because of local customs and religion. While the education of boys is regarded as useful investment, because it is believed that a boy propagates the family name, whereas spending money girls’ education is often regarded as a waste. Early marriage also contributes to inequality in education. Girls who went to school refused early marriage.
This article concludes that the education of girls in Jos North and Nigeria at large will continue to trail that of boys education if corrective policy actions are not taken. Failure to address the issue will further widen the gender gap in education. Moreover, the desired level of development in Jos North can only be attained when girl-child education is given adequate attention.
The author makes recommendations to encourage and intensify efforts to improve girl-child education, particularly in Jos North LGA, including:
- Government at all levels should take appropriate, legislative, budgetary and other necessary measures towards the full realisation of the right of every child to free quality education, especially the girl-child.
- Government and NGOs should immediately commence a child-seeking mapping exercise with the participation of communities and schools to determine which children are out of school, the reasons why, and bring them back to school.
- Greater investments in girls and support for their families should be made.
- Gender disparities should be reduced to the barest minimum through gender budgeting, maximising programmes that have an impact on girls/women.
- The Government must intensify efforts to discourage child labour through education.
- Early marriages that rob girls of any academic pursuits must be discouraged.
- Adequate and sustained advocacy for the girl-child by female organisations and women in leadership will help in bridging the gap in girl-child education.
- Constructive engagement of community leaders, town criers and urban elites who have very close contact with the gender groups should be intensified.