6 February 2016
Why education should be inclusive in Nigeria?
The education sector has been a major challenge in Nigeria. In the past two years, education has engulfed most of the federal funding to achieve the development of youths by providing them with acquired sills to be able to compete and vie for decent jobs opportunities across the country.
N424.313b was allocated to education in the 2014 Nigerian budget
N492.034b was allocated to education in the 2015 Nigerian budget
According to statistics provided by the UNSD (United Nations Statistical Data), the primary school education completion rate, 2000 and 2012 for Nigeria is about 75%.The achievement of universal primary education of the millennium development goal set by the UN has been improved from the year 2005 to the 2015 but it has been noticed that this change has not been particularly inclusive.
Inclusive in the sense that more boys are given the opportunities of going to school than girls and also more boys are expected to finish primary school and advance to other higher school levels making the development of the education sector not inclusive for both boys and girls.
The gross enrollment ratio, primary, for girls is at 81% as at 2010 and for boys, 88.4% (UNESCO).
This gap in inclusiveness could be lined to cultural inheritances mostly practiced by people in the north. Studies have shown that for countries to reach sustainable levels of development, the education of young girls and women is paramount to achieving this feat (UNESCO EFA-GMR, 2006). This is so because studies show that women are more intelligent and focus their efforts into the welfare of their children creating a trend of educated children thus creating a healthy and well educated population.
Early child marriage is another impediment to the inclusive growth needed in the education sector. In this situation, young girls are picked out from school by their parents to get married. If we study the trend of young girls getting married, the girls will have to leave school and then get pregnant and any hope of going back to school will be lost. In some cases, these young girls are so small in size and age that a pregnancy could mean the end of life for them as many of these girls die during giving birth accounting for maternal mortality cases in Nigeria and other African countries.
Needless to say, Education should therefore be inclusive for both boys and girls to achieve a uniform economical development and to secure the development and economic prosperity of girls by sending them to school improving their social and economic worth and also giving them a stake in the global efforts for worldwide development.
Policies should be therefore put in place to stop child marriages in remote areas of Nigeria where they are practiced and other cultural practices that do not promote the growth and development of young girls and women. It is essential sustain this change so that old ways do not return with the future generations of young girls and women.