EXAMINATION OF THE POSSIBILITY OF COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRES AS ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL IN ENDORSING GIRL CHILD EDUCATION IN KADUNA STATE-NIGERIA
This study assessed the viability of community resource centres as alternative school in promoting girl child education in Kaduna state, Nigeria. Five objectives and five research questions were formulated. Five null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. Descriptive design was used for the study. Out of a population of 864,355, a sample size of 355 was identified for the study. A self designed structured questionnaire titled Alternative School Instrument for Promoting Girl-Child Education was used for data collection. The null hypotheses were tested using the ANOVA statistics. The findings revealed that tailoring and vocational training were the available community resource centres that can be used as alternative schools for the girl child education in Kaduna state. The study also found that community resource centres in Kaduna State were viable as alternative school for the girl-child education with high cumulative mean of 3.131 being higher than the decision/ standard mean of 2.50. The knowledge content of community resource centres in Kaduna State was good enough to serve as alternative schools for girl-child education. As respondents overall cumulative mean response of 3.098 was found to be higher than the decision mean of 2.50. Fashion and design attracted the highest mean response of 3.3. The community resource centres were accepted as alternative schools for girl-child education in Kaduna State as the cumulative mean of 2.841 was found to be higher than the decision mean of 2.50. There are challenges such as societal attitude and payment of fees involved in the operations of community resource centres as alternative for girl-child education as the cumulative mean response was found to be higher than the decision mean of 2.50. It was concluded therefore that community resource centre is a viable alternative in promoting Girl-Child education in Kaduna State. Based on these findings it was recommended that more vigorous sensitization of the public on the importance of community resource centres in promoting girl-child education be carried out by girl-child education vanguards and community resource centres providers.
1.1 Background of the Study
Girl child education, poverty, reproductive health challenges and societal development has suffered several setbacks over the years as a result of formal educational system not being able to meet educational needs. Although at first glance, it might seem that all is well with female education in Nigeria, it is certainly not so. Despite there being schools made specifically to educate girls, Nigeria still has a very low literacy rate among its female population. There is therefore the need to source for alternative means of education.
The girl-child according to Offorma (2009) is a biological female offspring from birth to eighteen years (18years) of age. Education on the other hand is the development in the individual‟s ability to achieve maximum development of innate potentialities, so as to be in a position to contribute effectively to life in the society. (Akudolu 2009). We can therefore say that girl-child education is the process through which a female child is made a functional member of the society, by enabling her acquire knowledge and skills that will make her realize her potentials.
According to UNESCO (2014) educating girls is good for development; girls‟ education encourages economic growth, contributes to stable and secure communities, reduces maternal and child mortality, reduces fertility rates, raises schooling levels for the next generation and meets human rights standards. Girls‟ education is good economics. It is the best investment in a country‟s national development. (British Council 2014). In spite of the importance of girl child education, Obasi (2013) posits that the girl-child has not been given serious reckoning in education in the traditional Nigeria setting.
The problem of girl-child education goes beyond just this conception; according to Aliyu
(2009) inadequate learning facilities constitute a problem to girl-child education. UNICEF, (2007), identified poverty, economic issues, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, culture, and religious misinterpretation and lack of school infrastructure, as some of the barriers militated against the girl-child by formal education system. According to UNESCO (2014), 5.5 million girls are out of school. To promote and improve the girlchild education therefore requires solution that goes beyond what is typically offered in a conventional educational system; an alternative education.
Alternative education also known as non-traditional education according to Sliwka, covers all educational activities that fall outside the formal schooling system. Shafiq (2006) describes a number of approaches to teaching and learning other than the formal schools. Ruzzi and Kraemer (2006) state that alternative education gives young people the attention and support they need to succeed. The term „alternative education‟, describes different approaches to teaching and learning, other than the state-provided mainstream education. It is usually in form of public or private schools with often innovated curriculum and a flexible program of study which is based to a large extent on individual student‟s interests and need. (Aron, 2003; Carnie, 2003; as cited in Sliwka, n.d) Alternative education started as a result of civil agitation in the United States of America in the early fifties and has since grown in leaps and bounds. Alternative school or alternative education in Nigeria is not very popular in educational discourse. Notably one‟s epistemic background affects one‟s definitional, disposition, and consideration in any social discourse, thus background and understanding of alternative education may have affected adversely the approach, interest, and method in providing education in a modern society. Nonetheless, UNICEF has been involved in promoting alternative education in Nigeria, this they have done in collaboration with Federal, State, Local governments, and other United Nations Agencies. In 1997, for example, UNICEF went into collaboration with the federal government through the mass literacy commission, and established the non-formal- education-girl-child education, amongst others in an attempt to provide education for the girl child ( Obaji 2005). UNICEF (2004) advocated an alternative education as a strategy in educating the girl-child. In response to this advocacy, other stakeholders and NGOs, are taking steps through the use of community resources in educating the girl-child and empowering her to be self-reliant, through the establishment of community resource centres.
Community resources according to Olabode (2013) are a group of services and, or assistance program, that are provided to members of a community for free or at an affordable price. Each resource is made available to community members, to help them become self-reliant, and improve their human right and well-being. Community resources try to broadly solve problems, fill cultural gaps, and enhance community life. According to Community Tool Box, (http://.ctb.ku.edu.), “Community resources can be persons, physical structure, or places. It can be business or organizations that provide support to the local economy. Persons may include volunteers who are willing to share their skills, knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm in enhancing learning, while physical structure can include recreational centres, halls, parks, and, or market square that could serve as a classroom for training.
There are few literature on the use of community resource centres as alternative schools especially in relation to girl-child education, however, the government and NGOs, have continued to utilize community resource centres to proffer some sort of learning opportunities for needing populace, for example Operation Blessing, an arm of a
Christian Broadcasting Network, has a vocational training centre in Wuna village, in Gwagwalada Area Council of the F.C.T. Abuja. The building being used as a classroom was donated by the village head. Sustainable skills like sewing, interior decoration, pomade production, bead making are some of the training giving to learners at the centre.
The Hope Initiative of the Vulnerable and Marginalized people, have a skill acquisition centre at Bosso, Minna, Niger state. Skills like sewing, bead making, soap making, are some of the skills taught.
The use of community resource centres in education, especially the establishment of skill acquisition centres, seems to be gaining ground in Nigeria. With the present plight of the girl-child, it has become imminent that a conscious effort be made at assessing the viabilities of community resource centres as alternative school in promoting girl-child education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Girls‟ and boys‟ enrolment in primary schooling has increased markedly worldwide since the start of the millennium, from 84% in 1999 to 91% in 2011 (British Council 2014). The number of out-of-school children has almost halved. Enrolment increases have been most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. Many countries have achieved even greater increases (UNESCO 2014). The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)‟s 2014 reports show that enrolment, at all levels of education, has increased in most states of the country. The report stated that the rate of primary school age girls enrollment in school increased to 47.9 percent from 45.7 percent between 2010 and 2013, while the percentage of female (girls) enrollment in secondary schools increased from 45.3 percent in 2010 to 47.3 percent in 2013. In Kaduna state, from a population of 226,360 female enrollment in primary school and 87,587 in junior secondary female enrollment in 2013/2014 the population has grown tremendously. The state government said 1.81 million pupils were enrolled into public primary school in 2016/2017 session; this is due to the free feeding program by the state government. According to the state Annual School Census Report 2016/2017, obtained by NAN, girls constitute 875,135 of the enrolment figure, representing 48.19 per content. (News Agency of Nigeria, 2018)
The increased enrolment rates have created challenges in ensuring quality education. The expansion of free primary schooling and subsequent rapid increase in enrolment has created enormous demands on formal education system and significant challenges in ensuring good quality schooling and learning outcomes. Resources are stretched.
(UNESCO 2014). Nigeria‟s population growth has put pressure on the country‟s resources, public ser-vices and infrastructure. With children under 15 years of age accounting for 45 per cent of the 171 million populations, the burden on education has become overwhelming.
Girls‟ education is a human right. It is also our responsibility. Educating girls contributes significantly to the development of a stable, prosperous and healthy nation state whose citizens are active, productive and empowered. Despite the simile increase in girls‟ enrollment, yet data indicate that in Nigeria over 5.5 million girls are out-of-school. 12% girls compared to 10% boys will drop out of primary school in the last class, class 6, before completion. (UNESCO 2014).
According to statistics obtained by Vanguard Learning from Africa-Development
Information‟s Policy Brief and Editorial entitled: “Education, Governance, Peace and Security: Percentage of Males/Females with no Education by Geographical Zones,” of the six geopolitical zones, the North East, with 62.8%, has the highest number of females with no education, followed by North-West with 61.1%. 38% of females in North-Central have no education; South-East 18.7%; South-West 17.1% and South-South 13%.
( Ayobami and Asomba and Youdeowei 2015)
It is against this backdrop therefore, that it becomes pertinent to ask what can then be done in promoting girl-child education; hence an assessment of community resource centres as alternative schools in promoting girl-child education.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of the study is assessment of the viability of community resource centres as alternative schools in promoting girl-child education in Kaduna State.
Specifically, this research sought to
- identify the available community resource centres as alternative to schools for girl-child education in Kaduna State.
- examine the viability of community resource centres as alternative school for girlchild education in Kaduna state.
- determine the extent to which the knowledge content offered by the community resource centres are capable to serve as alternative school for girl-child education in Kaduna state.
- determine the acceptability of community resource centres as viable school for girl-child education in Kaduna State.
- Identify the challenges of community resource centres as viable alternative for girl-child education Kaduna state.
1.4 Research Questions
In the light of the objectives of study, the following research questions were aimed at guiding the conduct of this research work.
- What are the available community resource centres that serve as alternative to school for girl-child education in Kaduna State?
- What extent are community resource centres viable to serve as alternative to school for girl child education in Kaduna State?
- What extent is the knowledge content offered by community resource centres, capable to serve as viable alternative to school for girl-child education in Kaduna State?
- What extent are community resource centres accepted as viable alternative to school for girl-child education in Kaduna State?
- What are the challenges involved in the operation of community resource centres for girl-child Kaduna State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In order to achieve the stated objectives, the following null hypotheses were formulated:
- The girl-child, teachers and administrators do not significantly differ in their mean response on the availability of community resource centres in Kaduna state.
- There is no significant difference in the mean response of the girl-child, teachers and administrators on the viability of community resource centres as alternative to school for girl-child education in Kaduna State.
- The mean response of the girl-child, teachers and administrators on the knowledge content offered by community resource centres to serve as viable alternative to schools for girl-child education in Kaduna State do not significantly differs.
- There is no significant difference in the mean response of the girl-child, teachers and administrators on the acceptability of community resource centres as viable alternative school for girl-child education in Kaduna State.
- There is no significant difference in the mean response of the girl-child, teachers and administrators on the challenges involved in the operations of community resource centres as alternative to school for girl-child education in Kaduna State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The research work “The Assessment of the Viability of Community Resource Centres as Alternative Schools in Promoting Girl-Child Education” is important to the following people; the girl-child, parents, guardians, NGOS and other stakeholders.
The result of the study, when made public, will make available to the girl-child information on those alternatives that are available and the community resource centres that provide such alternatives, for example, tailoring, bead and cake making, hairdressing. The girl-child will be better prepared to face the challenges that will come in the course of using these community resource centers as alternative school. This information will better equip the girl-child in taking informed decision about education.
Parents, guardians, and other stakeholders who are directly and indirectly involved in providing the girl-child with education will find the information contained in this study useful especially in making decisions on providing the girl-child with alternative education; what alternatives are available, the knowledge content offered, including the challenges involved in the use of such alternatives. This information will enable them make informed choices.
This work also is useful to NGOS involved in girl child education. This work will provide information that will intensify advocacy, especially for alternative schools as strategies in promoting girl-child education; it will direct the campaign to the use of community resource centres as alternative schools, especially as the cry for girl-child education is gaining momentum. This work will be useful to NGOS and advocates of girlchild education deciding what community resource centres to setup, it will also provide such NGOS and advocates with information on the opinion of other community resource centre providers on the viability of community resource centres as alternative school, and the knowledge content offered at community resource centres, as well as the challenges involved in the operations of community resource centres as an alternative to school for girl-child education.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study “The assessment of the viability of community resource centres as alternative schools in promoting girl-child education” is delimited to assessing community resource centres as alternative school for girl- child education. This is because some community resource centres are available, and hence they can be readily accessed for the study.
The study was carried out in ten (10) local government areas of Kaduna State. The choice of ten local government areas was because these local government areas have community resource centres that are girl-child friendly; hence, getting useful and unbiased information for the study. The study was delimited to community resource centre providers, teachers at such centres, as well as the girl-child.
EXAMINATION OF THE POSSIBILITY OF COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRES AS ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL IN ENDORSING GIRL CHILD EDUCATION IN KADUNA STATE-NIGERIA