How to close the 'Gender Gap' of Education in Northern Nigeria?

According to UNICEF Nigeria, Forty per cent of Nigerian children aged 6-11 do not attend any primary school with the Northern region recording the lowest attendance rate in the country, particularly for girls. Despite a significant increase in net enrollment rates in recent years, it is estimated that about 4.7 million children of primary school age are still not in school.
In the North Particularly, the gender gap remains particularly wide and the proportion of girls to boys in school ranges from 1 girl to 2 boys to 1 to 3 in some states. The major cause of low enrolment to school, is cultural bias. Most parents do not send their children especially girls to school because their labour is needed to either help at home or to bring additional income into the family because their parents cannot afford the associated costs of sending their children to school such as uniforms and textbooks.
Even when children enrol in schools, many do not complete the primary cycle. According to current data, 30% of pupils drop out of primary school and only 54% transit to Junior Secondary Schools. Reasons for this low completion rate include child labour, economic hardship and early marriage for girls. 
Kindly contribute and recommend strategies on how we can close the education Gender Gap in northern Nigeria.

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MDGs and beyond Education
  • Ugochic Obidiegwu
    Cultural and religious reorientation is key. It is important for custodians of religion and culture in the area to encourage the people that education is beneficial in the long run. It starts from here to enable it spread adequately. A good family upbringing is not enough because the child will still be confronted with religious and cultural standards. 
    This is the reason NGOs in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs Are campaigning against child marriage a major reason while most young girls are not in school in the northern part of Nigeria.
  • Adedayo Adenrele
    To bridge the education gap, I believe we must include all the necessary stakeholders in our efforts. It is important to note that a woman's life is not really her own, particularly up north. All her life,  she has to answer to some people. Let's get these people involved,parents, community leaders,  spouses, etc. Let them be made to be aware of the benefits of education. Once they can buy into that,  they won't find it hard to send their daughters to school. 

    That is what I believe. 
  • Oluwafunbi Alatise

      Gender Gap is a critical issue in the Northern Nigeria. Many of which are based on cultural and traditional assertions. To solve these problems, especially for girl child education, a lot need to be done. 
     Firstly, the purpose and benefit of gender equality have to  be heavily campaign in the Northern Nigeria. This will allow for reorientation of the people on the right of every girl/woman. Community theatre approach can be utilised, whereby, the community will participate in the message that is being preached to them. Involvement of MDAs will be of great help through media campaign(radio/television) in local dialects using soap operas, music and dance drama.
    Also, some grants to encourage education should be channel to the Northern part and good recognition should be given to some successful Northern Women in governance. 
    • Titilayo Ogunbambi
      Thank you Oluwafunbi for your contributions am of the opinion that your suggestions will go a long way in closing this Gender Gap in northern nigeria. we also have a lot to do in implementing this....together we can.
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  • Folasade Bamisaye
    Closing the gender gap in education uptake particularly in the northern part of the country is very crucial. lot of factors contributed to the low education enrolment such as
    1. lack of adequate security in school (Case study of Chibok).
    2. Parental / Caregiver disposition towards education.
    3. Societal/Cultural norms
    4. Lack of Motivation such as free school feeding.
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