By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
High Level Women Advocates (HiLWA) in Bauchi has attributed the persistence discrimination in girls’ education in the state to customary attitudes, child marriages, religious misconception and inadequate and gender-biased teaching.
Other areas of discrimination, according to HiLWA, are in educational materials and lack of adequate and accessible schooling facilities, as well as requirement by girls to help families in household chores, among others.
HiLWA Chairperson in Bauchi state, Hon. Maryam Garba Bagel said exclusion of girls in education is multi-dimensional and largely draws from religious and cultural belief system which makes girls direct recipients of a crucial form of injustice.
Bagel, in a press briefing to mark the 2016 International Day of the Girl Child Wednesday in Bauchi, explained that girls’ school enrolment figures especially in Bauchi continually attest to below average enrolment, retention and completion leading up to the Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary levels.
She recalled that current Nigeria Education Data Survey (NEDS) 2015 shows that the number of rural females without any form of schooling in the country is put at 49%, urban females without any level of education stands at 22%, while urban females with tertiary education is 22%.
According to her, education indicators for Northern Nigeria are worse than for the rest of the country, partly driven by demographics and number of children who should be in school, social attitudes towards western education, and partly difficulties experienced by governments in ensuring provision of education services in predominantly rural areas.
Bagel, also the lone female members in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, said globally Nigeria accounts for more than 1 in 5 out-of-school children partly because the population has more than quadrupled since 1950 and is set to keep expanding steadily.
Lawmaker Maryam bagel further recalled that education indicators in Bauchi state from 2014/2015 Annual School Census and NEDS (2015) indicated that 56.1% of school children never attended school and 12.4% of children cannot read and less than 24% of school-age children attend preprimary school.
“Gross enrolment rate of girls in primary one stands at 45%. Female literate constitute 18.74% of the total population. In primary education, out of 761, 358 enrolled, 343, 095 (45%) are girls. In Junior Secondary Education, there are 149, 299 children enrolled and out of that 59, 707 (40%) are girls.
She gave average girls gross attendance rate (GAR) for primary school as 47% and 14% for the junior secondary school, while transition rate from primary 6 to JSS 1 for girls is 37% and 67% from JSS to SSS.
Hon. Maryam Bagel stated that qualified pupil ratio for primary stands at one teacher to 65 pupils and for JSS- 1 to 21, and primary school female teacher constitute only 30% of the total number of teachers in Bauchi state, with only 7% as head teachers.
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi