Gender Disparity in Enrolment into Basic Formal Education in Nigeria: Implications for National Development
Research studies have pointed to inequality in access to formal Education in Nigeria in favour of the male; despite the nation's commitment to equality of all, irrespective of race, sex or gender as buttressed by section 18, of the 1999 Nigerian constitution. This situation has grave implications for national development in Nigeria. The enlarged access to qualitative and functional educational opportunity for all, boys and girls inclusive, is perhaps one of the most effective means to combat poverty, reduce misunderstanding, political and religious intolerance as well as lack of respect for others, which had been the major causes of friction, revolts and intermittent civil crises in the nation. Girls education would not only contribute to move the nation forward economically, politically and technologically; it would also go a long way to liberate the women folk from their natural way of dependency, inferiority, superstition and other shackles that impede national development. This paper therefore examines the issue of gender disparity in enrolment into formal education in Nigeria with special focus on enrolment in basic education that is at the primary and junior secondary schools level, the reason for the imbalance in enrolment and its implications for national development. Recommendations are also proffered on how to ameliorate the situation.
Key words: Gender, Disparity, Enrolment, Formal Education, Development.