1.1 Background to the Study
The greatest enemy and greatest evil which keep people in darkness, bound to their traditions and superstitions is illiteracy; It also makes people resistant to change and new ideas and isolated from progress, thus unaware and incapable of meeting the demands of their changing environment and ever progressing world (Nasution in Omolewa1985). Today, girl-child education is a matter of concern for nations in the world.
Girl-children are discriminated against thereby making it difficult for them to exercise their rights; they are victims of various traditional and cultural practices, they suffer degradation, they are objects of poverty, their faces are only to be seen but their voices not to be heard, they are seen as being sub-servient to their male counterparts; they are the inferior set, their place is in the kitchen.
A number of negative thoughts and actions are expressed on the girl-child. To set the girl-child free from all these negative hold, there is need for her sound education. Giving her education will give her sound mind to reason, to liberate her from poverty, and develop her as well as the nation in which she lives.
With education, the girl child can become a self-sufficient adult who has more decision and control over her life. Jatau in Esomonu (1999) believes that the burden of nation building rests much on women. She goes on “we need women to create a blissful home, have well-educated and well-behaved children it is after these that the task of nation building can be a success”.
This will start from the education of the girl-child. The importance of educating the girl-child is further brought to the fore by Abacha (1997) while stating his view to support the fact that development has to be participatory and sustainable. He believed that
“Progress is only feasible if we create a Nigeria made up of a united people with a united purpose… our nation needs men and women who are bold, and imaginative, dedicated and committed, people who put honor, service and patriotism above everything else.
These men and women are not only needed in politics, they are also needed in business, in our traditional institutions, youth organizations, in academics and other professions”.
The above statement indicated that, society should stop looking down on women and they should be seen as first-class citizen and not rated as second-class citizens.
Through education the girl-child (who transforms later into a woman) will be empowered to be strong and resourceful in such a way that she is able to contribute maximally to the sustenance and development of the society in which she lives.
According to Alkali (2000) cited in Adedokun & Olufunke M. (2010) if all limiting barriers against women are removed, “women can lead, lead to the battle, and if necessary fight for her society and win for her people”. Educating a girl child therefore will bring about self-awareness, increased self-assertiveness in the society, raising the consciousness of women to encourage their participation in national development (Awe 1992, cited in Adedokun & Olufunke M. 2010).
Paying particular and close attention is therefore important, to the education of the girl-child. Finding the right solution to the issue of girl-child education will not only move the girl-child forward but pushes the nation to a greater height. Considering the virtues embedded in the issue of girl child education, the issue should be rated very high.
Odaga and Henerald (1995) maintained that the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors influencing female education at the household and community levels are closely interwoven. These factors have led to low investment in female education and hence, low societal demand for female education.
Oladunni (1996) cited the girl as being a victim of customs and traditions which ensure that she remains permanently disadvantaged. Factors responsible according to her include early marriage which keep her out of
school and endangers her life through premature pregnancies and difficult child birth, obnoxious widowhood rites, male preference and other harmful traditional practices which all contribute to making a girl-child a second class citizen and more vulnerable. Other factors are lack of knowledge. Low purchasing power, low income earning capacity and other discriminations leading to poor health status.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The girl-child, and indeed women the world over, especially in Africa and Nigeria has had their destiny sealed from birth by tradition and culture on account of their biological sex. They have been called the weaker sex in order to justify societal discrimination and oppression against them.
They must remain silent hewers of wood and drawers of water, bearers of children, and toilers of arduous labor from sun-rise to sun-down. They can be seen but not to be heard in both the private and the public spaces of decision making. The girl-child by the natural status ascribed to her by male defined norms of societal conduct and behavior remains a property to be owned and commoditized.
Consequently, her rights are circumscribed by tradition, custom, and the chauvinism of male patriarchy. No community will remain undeveloped if it has the required human capital and the best instrument for developing any society is to invest in human capital (Richardson, 2009).
This is because the acquired knowledge and skills will guarantee the economic and social liberation of the individual and by implication enhances their contributions to community and national development (Efe, 2001).
Illiteracy has been the greatest cankerworm which has eaten deeply in us and devastated the implementation of various wonderful policies of developing countries.
Illiteracy has a positive relationship with poverty. Unfortunately, illiteracy is highly rated among the women than men which means illiterate mothers will raise illiterate daughters who are most likely to marry early and have no access to education if their husbands do not comply.
The girl child often faces discrimination from the earliest stages of life, through childhood into adulthood. Her low status is reflected in the denial of fundamental needs and rights and in such harmful attitudes and practices as a preference for sons, early marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse, incest, and sexual exploitation, discrimination, less food and less access to education.
Forty per cent of Nigerian children aged 6-11 do not attend any primary school with the Northern region recording the lowest school attendance rate in the country, particularly for girls. Despite a significant increase in net enrollment rates in recent years in Nigeria, it is estimated that about 4.7 million children of primary school age are still not in school (UNICEF Report, 2005).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study is to find out the influence of socio cultural issues in limiting girl child education in Kaduna state, specifically the study intends to:
1. Find out and examine the prevailing socio-cultural practices that affect girl-child empowerment.
2. Examine the different socio cultural factors that affects girl child education
3. Investigate the perception of the girl-child towards discriminations at the household and community level
4. Analyze the effects of cultural values that affect girl child education
1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the prevailing socio-cultural practices that affect girl-child empowerment?
2. What are the different socio cultural factors that affects girl child education?
3. What is the perception of the girl-child towards discriminations at the household and community level?
4. Is there any significant effects of cultural values that affect girl child education?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: there is no significant effects of cultural values that affect girl child education
Hi: there is significant effects of cultural values that affect girl child education
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1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will enable the stakeholders in the area of education in Kaduna State to address the issues of girl-child. It is also hoped that the Kaduna State Ministry of Education will find this work beneficial in planning their educational budget so that the rural population of Kaduna is placed on the pedestal of equal and adequate educational opportunities for all citizens.
Through the findings and recommendations of this research, guardians may be more enlightened on their responsibilities towards the girl child education in Kaduna State.
It is likewise trusted that this will in turn enhance girl child education which will lead to their contributions on the developments of Kaduna State.
It is important to note that by highlighting some of the socio-cultural factors influencing girl child education, this study will give social workers, policy makers, community members, governmental and non-governmental organizations insights on how to tackle this issue at the grass roots level.
This study will also highlight benefits in educating the girl child for a better society not only for the present age, but rather for who and what is to come.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work focus mainly on young girls within Kaduna State. Furthermore, due to the complex nature of the research project, respondents from Kaduna North will be the main focus of the research. This is so because the researcher will not be able to conduct a census study on the entire Kaduna State due to the geographical complexity.
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