Gender Differences in the Expressed Problems and Adjustment Needs of In-School Orphans in Nigeria: Challenges for Higher Education and Globalization
Background: Millions of orphaned children are abandoned and in need of supportive living environments because their biological parents are not able to provide food, shelter and safety. Objective: To investigate the problems and adjustment needs of in-school orphans in Nigeria. Method: This is a descriptive survey research. The sample consisted of 300 orphans aged 15 to 18 years purposively sampled from three schools in three senatorial districts of Kogi State. Necessary data was collected by means of a questionnaire tagged „Problems and Adjustment Needs of in-school Orphans Questionnaire'(PANOSOQ). The data collected were analyzed using the t-test statistical method. Result: The data analysis revealed, among other things, that the problems and adjustment needs of in-school orphans were multifaceted affecting the academic, economic/financial, emotional, psychological and social aspects of their lives. These areas of problems and adjustment needs were arranged in hierarchical order of magnitude. Furthermore, it was found that female in-school orphans expressed having greater problems and adjustment needs than their male counterparts. Conclusion: On the basis of these findings, the researchers pointed to the fact that the gender differences between males and females, documented by earlier researchers do, in fact, exist. They therefore called attention to the dire need for all stakeholders in the education industry to tackle with dispatch the problem of the dearth of counsellors in Nigeria's primary and secondary schools in order to address this anomaly. Such exercise would help to keep on course the noble goals of higher education and globalization.
Key words: Adjustment needs; counselors; gender disparities, globalization; higher education; orphans; primary school; secondary school.