Slow Increase in Girls’ Demand for Primary School Education in Edo State, Nigeria: Causes and Planning Strategies for Overcoming the Phenomenon
AbstractPrior to 1960, when Nigeria obtained her political autonomy; free primary school education had been introduced by the Western and Eastern regional governments in 1955 and 1957 respectively; while the Northern regional government popularized Islamic education. The introduction of free primary education was perhaps, in consonance with Article 26 of the Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948; which was on the right to Education. In 1963, Nigeria became a Republic and Mid-Western region was carved out of the Old Western region; which in turn was later renamed Bendel State and divided into Edo and Delta States for rapid socio-economic and political development. Edo State commonly referred to as the “Heart Beat” of Nigeria, is notoriously known because of a number of anti-social vices and the most prominent ones are international prostitution, kidnapping, youth militancy and child labour amongst others. The incessant repatriation of girls and young women who perhaps, dropped out from primary schools from the European countries like Belgium, Italy and Spain amongst others, has given Edo State and indeed the country as a whole a bad social stigma. In 1976, the free Universal Primary Education (UPE) Scheme was popularized in all the nooks and crannies of the country. In 1999, the Compulsory, Free, Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme was launched. In spite of these various efforts directed by the national, state and local governments, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and some religious bodies in ensuring that girls and boys have equal access to educational opportunities proved abortive; as exemplified by the data presented in this paper. Consequently, this paper discusses the causes of girls’ slow increase in the demand for primary school education in Edo State and indeed the country as a whole and proffers solutions.
LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 8(2), 38-46, 2011