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Problems And Prospects Of Girl-Child Education In Mbaitoli Local Government Area Of Imo State




Children arrive at birth as packaged gifts with great but latent potentials. Training (especially formal education) nurtures, prepares and matures them to give these to humanity a valuable service and live a fulfilled life. The Girl Child is not left out, but girl-children in Nigeria do not have the same opportunity as boys. Hence, this study therefore examined the problems and prospects of girl-child education in Imo State with particular reference to Mbaitoli Local Government Area of the state. Five research questions were formulated for the study. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The population for the study comprised of 188 female secondary school teachers from 10 secondary schools in the local government area. However, a sample of 98 female secondary school teachers was randomly drawn which is 50% of the total population. The method of data collection was through questionnaire. The questionnaire was structured on a four-point likert scale. The data were analyzed using arithmetic mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions. The result indicated that there are attitudinal problems of citizens of the LGA towards girl-child education, financial constraints, traditional beliefs and poor parental attitude affect the promotion of girl-child education in the area, and that there are high prospects of girl-child education in the local government area. The study recommends among other things that government, non-governmental organizations, parents, teachers and the girl-child herself should join hands in the enlightenment campaign for the benefit and need to educate a girl-child.




In this chapter, the researcher discusses the following; background of the study, statement of the problem, scope of study, purpose of the study, significance of the study as well as the research questions.

Background of the Study

Nigeria is one of the third World countries in Africa. That is the more reason why the country is often times referred to as a developing country. This is the more reason why the country needs to encourage the education of the youth, as they are seen as the leaders of tomorrow. This training should among other things include the boys and the girl-child.

Education is the bedrock of any nation and also the key to success. It is an indispensible tool in human development as it could be seen as a medium through which an individual realizes his or her potentials in life, his talents and skills. Education enables both boys and girls to develop positive attitudes, knowledge, acceptable models of behavior and also the acquisition of skills that will enable them to live useful lives in the society as well as contributing to the development of their fatherland.

Whenever, the girl-child is educated, you build a nation as they are the mothers of the nation. Regrettably, the girl-child is not given an equal opportunity in the field of education, considering the situation in Nigeria.

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Alike and Egbochukwu (2011:136), maintains that education enables the girl-child to make her own decisions and to influence her family positively. Education serves and improves the lives of girls and women. It allows their greater control of their lives and provides them with skills to contribute to their societies. UNICEF (2004) report indicates that the girl-child education leads to more equal development, stronger families, better services, better child health and effective participation in government (Alika et al., 2011).

Osakwe, Osagie, Madunagu and Usman (1995) cited by Alika et al., (2011) observed that Nigerian girls for various reasons bordering on religious, cultural, socio-economic and school related factors, are not given a fair chance in the educational sector. Quoting UNICEF (2004), Alike et al., (2011) opined that in Nigeria, about 7.3million children do not go to school of which 62% are girls.

Globally, every society and every group have come to appreciate the importance of education for its development. Education is regarded as an important tool for societal growth especially formal education. But, the situation in the country (Nigeria) is different. This is worse in the northern region of the country. The southern, western and eastern regions are embracing the value of education for the girl-child more and more and are now more open to it. However, there are still some parts of these regions that are still backward in the training of the girl-child. In the eastern part (Igbos), regions like Mbaitoli local government area of Imo state are one of the areas still yet to fully embrace the importance of training the girl-child. In this area, we have poor attitude towards the proper education of the girl child, some parents consider the training of the boys in school more important and paramount than the girl-child.

Beyond the basic needs of education to support oneself and family in later years, many social ills occur in the vaccum of free and accessible education. UNICEF underscored the link between child labour and a lack of education in their 2008 education for all global monitoring reports, over 100 million children was accounted for 70% of all child laborer, work in agriculture in rural areas where access to schools, availability of trained teachers and educational supplies is severely limited.

Adeyokunu (2001) has reported that women in Nigeria are more involved than men in virtually all areas of agricultural activities ranging from clearing to processing. In spite of this, the women suffer and are victims of social order that treats them largely as second position role players. Thus, gender bias against women ranges from labour market discrimination to exclusion from policy making. According to Mamman (2003), this discrimination exacerbates poverty by preventing the majority of women from obtaining the credit, education, training, health services, childcare and legal status needed to improve their prospects. One clear area of noted imbalance against women has been in the area of education. It is therefore not surprising that women’s inadequate access to education has been seen as the source of the various discriminations they suffer.

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The girl-child is asked to marry earlier and rear children.  This is because there has been that assumption that the girl-child does not and cannot do well in school especially in science related courses or subjects. They are sometimes regarded as the disadvantageous group, and are seen as being intellectually inferior to boys, because of boys’ dominance in the art of institutionalization of socio-cultural values which have also been in the system of education. In our society, the girl-child is usually regarded as occupying an inferior position.

The girl-child education is considered to that of the boys in some societies and even as a wasteful spending and also certain inhibitive cultural practices in Mbaitoli Local Government area contributed to its persistence. In most cases, the education of the girl-child terminated at the primary school level. This is to afford the girl-child the opportunity to be hired out as house-help or even to be given out in marriage and also create wealth for their parents. The money gotten from the payment of their price are used in the training of their children in school.

It is because of this backdrop that the researcher wants to delve squarely into the problems and prospects of girl-child education in Mbaitoli. I consider it very vital because if these problems are not dealt with properly, the girl-child in Mbaitoli LGA will continue to be under the shackles of marginalization as regards education.

Statement of Problem

In every nation that seeks development, education is a serious business. Over the years, formal education was regarded as the prerogative of men. Hence they believed that high academic and public affairs are exclusive reserved for men. They thought that academics poison girls and as such, disqualifies them for the role of wives. According to Turtle (2005), “men often argued that girls/women do not need the education that boys need since their role in life is to marry and have children for their husbands and they argued that girl’s brains were too small or too delicate to bear the burden of intellectual strain”.

In recent years, girls’ education has gained grounds. However, many people have come out with the idea that there is always incompatibility between the behavior of the educated  girls and the uneducated girls especially when these girls marry. Hence, some people believe that educated girls behave rudely in the family as a result of their employment and education.

In Imo state, there has been a wide range of speculation against girl-child education. According to Ezekwe and Ugulu (2006), “it is been believed that most formally educated girls do not make good and happy homes, but are prone to gross infidelity and consequent divorce.” Educated girls were also accused of mis-directing and inciting quarrels with their husbands when they marry, they neglect their family relations or elders and also render abuses on the less educated ones. These accusations may be true or false, but, it will be wrong to generalize the behavior of all educated girls.

Girl-child education seeks for partners in their relationships; it also seeks for equal opportunity and companionship with their husbands. They hope to share in making plans for the family. They also partake in modernizing the family towards achieving a happy home ahead.

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However, in the face of education of girls in the area (Mbaitoli) the questions often asked are, what are the problems and prospects of girl-child education? This study is an attempt to finding the answers to these questions.

Scope of the Study

This work was limited to identifying the problems and the prospects of girl-child education in Mbaitoli Local government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. Mbaitoli LGA is assumed to have had the highest number of cases of girl-child education problems within the state.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to find out the prospects of girl-child education and the problems which militate against girl-child education in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State. The study specifically sought to;

  1. Find out the attitude of citizens of Mbaitoli LGA towards girl-child education,
  2. Find out how financial constraints contributes to the poor attitudes the society has towards girl-child education in Mbaitoli LGA,
  3. Identify how the traditional beliefs affects the promotion of girl-child education
  4. Ascertain how poor parental attitude affects girl-child education
  5. Determine the prospects of girl-child education in Mbaitoli LGA

Significance of the Study

It is true that this investigation will expose the readers’ mind to the importance of girl-child education as a tool for political, economic and socio-culutral development in Mbaitoli. Parents benefit from this study as they will be better enlightened in roles in the education of their girl-child.

The research will be beneficial to the government and policy makers, as it will better enlighten them on their effort to improve girl-child education in Nigeria. When the factors affecting girl-child education are checkmated, the government investment in child education will become a realistic and profitable venture  not only to the female folk but to the entire society.

The study will be useful in planning educational programmes that will help to improve the standard of living as well as contribute to the development of the girl-child. Since it has been estimated that over 50% of Nigerian populace are female, therefore there is an urgent need to improve on girl-child education.

This work will be valuable to other researchers in the sense that the educational reforms with increased resources will have stronger policy commitments for achieving education for the girl-child.

Research Questions

The following questions were formulated to guide the investigating;

  1. What is the attitude of citizens of Mbaitoli LGA towards the girl-child education?
  2. To what extent does availability of finance contribute to the poor attitude towards the girl-child education?
  3. How are traditional beliefs a factor to girl-child education?
  4. How is parental attitude a factor to girl-child education?
  5. What are the prospects of girl-child education in Mbaitoli LGA?

Pages:  67

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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