Problems Encountered by Married Female B.Ed Part-Time Students
This paper investigated the challenges or constraints of women in continuing higher education programme with particular focus on the b.ed part-time programme of the Usman Danfodiyo university sokoto. A simple survey research design was employed to explore the issue. A 4 item questionnaire supplemented with oral interview sessions provided the data used for the study. The study involved 150 randomly selected women in b.ed part-time programme of the Usman Danfodiyo University. The data collected were analyzed using mean score, frequency count and simple percentages. The findings of the study showed that the major constraints or challenges of women participants in the programme include time constraints, increasing marital demand, poor economic or financial base, poor learning environment, lack of encouragement from employers and spouse, increasing social pressure and poor psychological disposition. The implications of study for women’s counselling and education were highlighted. Based on the findings, recommendations were also proffered.among the recommendations are:women should be tutored on time management strategies. this can be incorporated in their programme as a means of helping them manage effectively the time available to them.counsellors and teachers should also understand the challenges of women and the prevailing situations which may influence the attitude of the women towards learning and level of achievement.
1.1 Background to the Study
‘There should be no barrier to educating women. Only when women have unhindered access to quality education can their potentials be fully developed and society made better by their contributions. ‘All religions, encourage women education’ (Hajjia Bintu Ibrahim Musa, 2005) the remarks made by Hajjia Bintu Ibrahim Musa (ibid.), former Minister of State for Education in Nigeria is a very good reference point here.
From the remarks above, women education is said to be the most significant intervention for human and sustainable development. There is no doubt that education contributes to the growth of national incomes and individual earnings. The higher one’s educational status, the higher the earnings particularly in both the public and private sectors. This means therefore that university education is a critical factor to ones earnings and development and beyond this to efficiency. Without any doubt, universities play a critical role in generating new ideas, in accumulating and transmitting knowledge and also in generating incomes; this is because economic growth is deemed to depend on the capacity to produce knowledge based growth. Although, it is difficult to strictly identify which sub-sector of education contribute most to poverty reduction (IIEP Newsletter, Vol. SS5 No I. January-March, 2007).
In Nigeria, as in many developing economies, there is a gender gap in literacy with women at a disadvantage; this has led to government increase in literacy drive for girls in particular at the basic education level. Because of this, there is a tendency for government not to take cognizance of what goes on at the tertiary level particularly as it relates to female enrolment. Although, Nigeria educational reform as stated in National Economic Empowerment and Development strategy (NEEDs) document also shows considerable focus on girls higher education. But one can say that up till now, a lot of Nigerian girls and women unlike their male gender are still not enrolled at the tertiary level.
Achieving gender parity in education is one of the aims of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and it is also a primary objective of the 1990 World declaration on Education for All (EFA) as well as the Dakar framework of action (2000). But till date, gender equality still remains elusive. According to UNESCO report (2006) girls make up 60% of all out of school children and women represents two thirds of illiterate adults, the Founder (2007) indicates that girls usually perform worse than boys in schools and that in some countries one in every four girls drops out before fifth grade. Roughly, 85 per cent of boys complete primary school compared to 76 per cent of girls.
For a long time, women constitute the majority of illiterates in Nigeria. At all levels of education (primary, secondary and tertiary) males represent higher proportions than females (FOS, 1995). In 1990, the proportion of literate men to women was 54:31 and the total female literacy rate was far below 15%,while that of men was above 40%. A more recent survey in 2005 shows that 33.7% of females had no form of education in the North Eastern States of Nigeria (Borno, Yola, Adamawa and Bauchi). In the North Western States (Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto and Jigawa etc) 87.8% of women had no formal education. The case in Southern States was slightly better. In the South-East (Abia, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Cross River, Anambra) only 36.2% of women have no formal education. In the South-West (Ogun, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, etc) at least 26.1 % of women had no formal education. The Middle Belt States (Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kwara, Niger, Kogi) are in between the South and North in terms of average figures of illiteracy of women.
The enrolment of children in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions also demonstrates discrimination against females. There are remarkable disparities according to regions and states. However, gender disparities are common in all regions and states. In all the states and regions of Nigeria, women lag behind men in access to education. For instance, only 7.6% of women interviewed in the Northern part of Nigeria had some primary education, whereas, in the Southern part of Nigeria, at least 25.9% received some education. In the case of primary school enrolment, only 12% of female children of school age are registered in the primary schools. In the South, 44.4% of girls are in primary schools.
By the time girls reach secondary school age, only about 4.2% of them in Northern Nigeria and 37% in Southern Nigeria are allowed to continue. This shows a sharp discrimination against women at all levels (FOS, 1995). The situation in the rural areas is even worse than that in urban areas. As UNICEF (1990) states, three-quarters of rural women aged 15-24 years are illiterates in Africa, and only half in urban areas are illiterates.
Generally, the illiteracy rate in Nigeria is gradually on the decline. Between 1985 and 1990, the percentage of girls enrolled in schools rose from 7.2% to 42%. The enrolment of females in technical schools rose from 4.5% in 1984 to 15% in 1990 and 20% of the present enrolment in Nigerian Polytechnics is made up of females. In Universities, there is a rise of 22% in 1980 to 24% in 1990. All these notwithstanding, there is a glaring case of serious discrimination against females in education in Nigeria. This has created many gender gaps in school enrolment as well as teachers and lecturers (UNICEF, 1990)
The Blueprint on Women Education was concerned about various issues that inhibit women education such as poverty, child labour among others and made appropriate recommendations to correct these. Also, the promotion of science and technology, female hostels, and in-service training for females was recommended and gender stereo-typing in textbook was discouraged. Many States in Nigeria have affected some educational reforms backed by legislation to provide increased access to female education. Schools for nomads have also been established and funding of women education is made a joint effort of all tiers of government (Nigeria, 1986 Blueprint).
This scenario is important because under representation of women in higher education took its root from the basic education through secondary education levels.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Women’s involvement in continuing education or their interest in pursuing further education is not without its challenges. In spite of the fact that there has been a remarkable increase in the participation of young girls and married women in educational pursuit and had continued to exhibit their desire or yearning for higher education, their efforts have continued to be limited by social norms and dictates (Marim and Greenberger cited in Kazeem 1998; Osunde and Omoruyi 2003). Studies according to the authors have also shown that the poor socioeconomic status of women has a relatively greater effect on the educational aspiration or desire to seek further education.
Therefore, women who enlist in educational programme are daily confronted with challenges that tend to undermine their efforts. The increasing interest in women education and its importance to nation building and development of individual woman demand that the challenges they face be exploited and identified with a view to helping to evolve measures that would enable women deal with them. It also seeks to tease out the implications it has for evolving an adequate counselling programme for women that would assist them deal with the challenges and for ensuring proper education of the women.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study seek to enumerate the challenges faced by married women in their studies in higher institutions and to make known the need for adequate support for such women from the government, organizations, lecturers and their Husband as this will help to increase the number of married women who desire to further their studies.
• This essay seeks to determine the major challenges which confront women in continuing higher education.
• It also seeks to tease out the implications it has for evolving an adequate counselling programme for women that would assist them in dealing with the challenges faced.
• It also seeks to ensure proper education of the woman.
1.4 Study Questions
In order to achieve the purpose of the study, the following researcher Questions were generated:-
1. Do women in continuing higher education actually witness any major challenges in the course of their learning?
2. What are the major challenges confronting women in the programme?
3. Does the content of the programme meet with the academic aspirations or interest of women?
4. How do the women perceive these problems or challenges?
1.5 Significance of the Study
It will help unravel the major challenges confronting women in continuing education programme. The challenges enumerated will therefore, assist in evolving appropriate measures and alternative policy option that will enable programme providers combat these problems and make learning and teaching more effective and fruitful.
In addition, the challenges enumerated will also help to expand the frontiers of knowledge or add to existing literature in the area.
It is also hoped that the findings will serve as feedback to managers in higher education on the challenges their women participants face and help them develop appropriate strategies and possibilities for improved performance and enhanced participation of more women in the programme.
Finally, it is hoped that the outcome of the study will aid in the formulation of appropriate counselling strategy or programme that would help women cope with challenges confronting them so as to successfully complete their education.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study shall focus majorly on the importance of Educating Women in Nigeria especially in the northern states of the country. Benefits or challenges in other areas such as early marriage shall not be discussed.