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International Journal of Educational Science and Research (IJESR) ISSN 2249-6947 Vol. 2 Issue 3 Dec - 2012 1-6 Š TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.,

CREATING EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCAITON IN NIGERIA OFORKA THERESA. O, NWOSU EUCHARIA. N & OKOLO ANN. N Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

ABSTRACT The study investigated the ways of creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education in Nigeria. The study was carried out in Awka south L.G.A of Anambra state. The population comprised 110 male and 110 female teachers in 8 secondary schools in the study area. Through stratified proportionate sampling technique, 60 male and 60 female teachers were selected making it a total of 120 respondents. Two research questions guided the study. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire. Means score was used for data analysis. The results revealed that equal chances and access to education and training should be provided for both males and females to achieve gender equality in education. Based on the findings, it was recommended that education should be made free and compulsory for both males and females from primary to tertiary level. Both males and females should be exposed to the same curriculum contents. Teachers should not link any particular course or job to a particular sex, among others.

KEYWORDS: Creating Equal Educational Opportunities, Gender Equality, Awka south L.G.A, Data Analysis INTRODUCTION Both men and women naturally have equal rational, social, cultural and religious capacity irrespective of any form of disability. Neither men nor women are born with any rational, social, cultural and religious advantages over the other. Hence, the only difference between male and female is biological. This biological difference is basically in respect to the reproductive faculties of a man or a woman which is as a result of hormonal differences. It would then be absurd to attribute specific sex role or education attainment to either a man or a woman based on biological differentiation (Onyeukaziri, 2011). There is no type of education or occupation concerned with the management of social affairs which belongs either to a man or a woman. Natural gifts are to be found here and there in both creatures alike and every occupation or education is open to both (McGraw, 2010). McGraw emphasized that if there are special roles for men distinct from that for women in the society, every man or woman should be able to possess such specific sex role naturally or innately with any form of nurture, training or education. But conversely, given the same nurturing or education opportunity without cultural inhibitions, men or women with industry would be proficient in any role in the society that is not biological.The African societies place educational value on males to the detriment of females. Richard (2008) observes that behaviours are socially constructed to create gender differences in roles as well as in education attainment. Adesina (2009) noted that behaviours are often constructed traditionally that the husband should be more educated than the wife. Some men therefore, try as much as possible to cage their wives from having educational advantage over them.


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Oforka Theresa. O, Nwosu Eucharia. N & Okolo Ann. N

This explains why some females cannot make up their educational attainment above secondary school in relation to the number of females admitted to both primary and secondary schools. In many parts of the country, girls are often given to early marriages. Education is a fundamental human right and should not be given on the basis of gender. Equal educational opportunities should be given to both males and females. Nzewunwa (2001) defines educational opportunities as the provision of the same type of education, equal access to education, provision of funds, laboratories, teachers (quantity and quality), uniformity in curriculum contents, method of teaching, evaluation process, school environment among others. Although the provision of equal educational opportunities for every citizen has been made manifest in the Nigerian constitution, there exists gender inequality in access to education. Ajayi (2009) remarks that female children are discriminated against in education matters. Where access to education is limited to a few children, there are fewer females than males in almost all categories of institutions of learning. Even where access to education is made free, female children continue to lag behind male children in school enrolment, particularly in higher institutions of learning. Besides, there exists gender inequality in course enrolment and subject preferences. Ajayi (2009) noted that subject areas where inequality in subject preferences and course enrolment favour males than females are the natural and physical sciences. Females are favoured than males in the arts and languages. In primary and secondary schools, teachers create differences in the choice of subjects between males and females. Taiwo (2009) observed that there is also gender inequality in assigning school functions to males and females. Males are always given subtantive positions while females take the position of vice or assistant. These inequalities in the opportunities given to both sexes could lead to inequalities in educational achievement.From the foregoing, it becomes necessary to ascertain the ways of creating equal educational opportunities in order to achieve gender equality in education. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is to identify the ways of creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education. Research Questions 1.

What are the causes of gender inequality in education?

2.

What are the ways for creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education?

Methods and Procedures Descriptive survey design was used to collect data that helped the researchers in ascertaining the ways for creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education. Population The population of the study consists of 110 male and 110 female teachers in 8 secondary schools in Awka South L.G.A of Anambra state. Sample and Sampling Technique The sample for the study comprised 120 teachers. (60 males and 60 females). Stratified proportionate sampling technique was used to select 60 male and 60 female teachers from the entire population.


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Creating Equal Educational Opportunities for Gender Equality in Educaiton in Nigeria

Instrument for Data Collection The instrument used by the researchers for data collection was questionnaire titled: Equal educational opportunities for gender equality questionnaire (EEOGEQ), structured by the researchers. It consisted of 17 items which were arranged in two clusters. Cluster A addressed the causes of gender inequality in education while cluster B focused on finding out the ways for creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education. The questionnaire was built on a four-point scale namely; strongly agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and strongly Disagree (SD), the levels of responses are weighted as 4,3,2,1 respectively. Validation of the Instrument The instrument was face validated by three experts, two in Sociology of Education and one in Measurement and Evaluation, all from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Their corrections were used to produce the final copy of the instrument. A Cronbach Alpha reliability co-efficient for cluster A and B were 0.63 and 0.74 respectively. The overall value for the instrument was 0.83. Method of Data Collection The copies of the questionnaire were administered and collected by the researchers and two research assistants. The research assistants were briefed on the methods of administration and collection to ensure high return of the instrument. Method of Data Analysis The data obtained were analyzed with mean scores. A cut-of point of 2.50 and above was used to determine the ways for creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality. Any item with mean rating below 2.50 was not accepted.

RESULTS The results of the study are presented according to the research question that guided the study as indicated in table 1. Research Question I: What are the causes of gender inequality in education? Table 1: Mean Rating on the Causes of Gender Inequality in Education Item No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Item Description

Sex

N

The society values the education of males more than females Education of girls is seen as a waste of resources since they will get married Many girls are given to early marriage

Males Female Males Female Males females Males females Males females Males females Males females

60 60

Many girls from poor families drop out from secondary school level to enable their male siblings move further Some teachers create gender difference in course enrolment and subject preferences Some parents choose courses for their children on the basis of gender Male children are encouraged to study courses that are perceived by the society as masculine inclined such as those found in natural and physical sciences

x 3.60 3.62 3.41 3.62 3.32 3.52 3.50 3.51 3.52 3.53 3.60 3.55 3.18 3.20

Decision

SA SA SA SA SA SA SA


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Oforka Theresa. O, Nwosu Eucharia. N & Okolo Ann. N

Item No 8

Item Description

Sex

Female children are encouraged to study courses that are perceived by society as feminine inclined such as those found in the Arts and languages

Males females

N

x 3.52 3.32

Decision

SA

Males females Results in table I showed that the mean ratings of male teachers ranged from 3.18 to 3.60 while the mean ratings Cluster means ( x )

of female teachers ranged from 3.20 to 3.62. The mean ratings were above the cut-off point of 2.50 which indicated that all the respondents agreed to all the items as causes of gender inequality in education. The mean scores for the male teachers on items 1-8 are 3.60, 3.41, 3.32, 3.50, 3.52, 3.60, 3.18 and 3.52 while the mend rating for female teachers include: 3.62, 3.62, 3.52, 3.51, 3.53, 3.55, 3.20, and 3.32 Research question 2: What are the ways for creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education? Table 2: Mean Rating on the Ways for Creating Equal Educational Opportunities for Gender Equality in Education. Item No 1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8

9

Item Description

Sex

N

Both male and female students should be exposed to the same curriculum contents, They should be exposed to all the nitty-gritty involved in studying particular courses Teachers should equip the students with the necessary abilities and skills. Government should provide free education and learning materials in primary and secondary schools to help indigent students. Parents should give their male and female children equal chance of education Students should be allowed to choose courses of their interest not on the basis of masculine or feminine subjects Teachers should not link any particular course or job to a particular sex. Teachers should outline the requirements that go with particular jobs in a manner that suggests equality of abilities for both sexes. Schools should provide all students with opportunities to participate in extra and co-curricular activities that develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that increase academic achievement.

Males Female Males Female Males females Males females

60 60

Cluster means ( x )

x 3.61 3.63 3.65 3.85 3.38 3.42 3.83 3.86

Males females Males females Males females Males females

3.86 3.82 3.42 3.46 3.35 3.37 3.65 3.62

Males females

3.57 3.52

Males females

3.59 3.61

Decision

SA SA SA SA

SA SA SA SA

Table 2: indicates that the mean ratings on the ways for creating equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education by male and female teachers range between 3.38-3.83 for male teachers and 3.37-3.85 for female teachers. The mean ratings were above the cut-off point of 2.50 indicating that all the items if applied will create equal educational opportunities for gender equality in education.

FINDINGS OF THE STUDY The findings of the study include: (1)

Both male and female students are not exposed to the same curriculum contents.


Creating Equal Educational Opportunities for Gender Equality in Educaiton in Nigeria

(2)

Some teachers create gender difference in the choice of subjects in primary and secondary schools.

(3)

Many girls are given to early marriage especially in the rural areas.

(4)

Men and women have equal rational, social, cultural and religious capacity.

(5)

Many girls from poor families drop out from secondary school level to enable their male siblings move further.

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DISCUSSIONS OF FINDINGS The findings of this study are in agreement with the studies conducted by Onyeukaziri (2011) and McGraw (2010) who posited that naturally men and women have equal rational, social, cultural and religious capacity. Hence, it would be absurd to attribute specific sex role or education achievement to either a man or a woman. The authors equally remarked that there is no type of education or occupation concerned with the management of social affairs which belongs either to a man or a woman. The findings are also in line with those of Richard (2008) who observed that behaviours are socially constructed to create gender differences in roles as well as in educational attainment. The findings also agrees with Adesina (2009) who remarked that some females cannot make up their educational attainment above secondary school in relation to the number of females admitted to both primary and secondary schools. The findings are in consonance with Adesina (2009) who highlighted that in many parts of the country, girls are often given to early marriages.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Education is a fundamental human right and should be provided for all children irrespective of sex, age, religion and race. Education is an instrument for national development. The provision of equal educational opportunities for both males and females will facilitate the national development and increase the educational achievement for both sexes. However, there is inequality in the provision of educational opportunities for males and females. The following recommendations are suggested: 1.

Education should be made free and compulsory in all levels of education.

2.

Both males and females should be exposed to the same curriculum contents.

3.

Teachers should equip the students with the necessary abilities and skills required in all the courses.

4.

Teachers should not link any particular course or job to a particular sex.

5.

Students should be allowed to choose courses of their interest not on the basis of masculine or feminine subjects.

REFERENCES 1.

Adesina, B (2009). Gender streaming and equalization of educational opportunity. Abeokuta: Tamaza publishing Co. Ltd.

2.

Ajayi, K. (2009), Gender issues. Kano: Ganasul Ventures Ltd.

3.

McGraw, H. (2010). The second sex. Philosophy, History and problems. USA: Marlowe Pub. Co.Ltd.

4.

Onyeukaziri, J.N. (2011). Women op pression in a patriarchal society: shift from patriarchal to christarchal society. Enugu: Beyond frontiers magazine. 2011 edition, 46-48.

5.

Nzewunwa, O.P. (2001). Social studies: foundations, method and contemporary social problems. Owerri: Springfield publishers.

6.

Richard, E.K. (2008). Women’s education in developing countries. Baltimore: John Hopkins University press.

7.

Taiwo, E. (2009). The home-school continuum in gender stereotyping of Nigerian children. Nigerian journal of sociology of education 3(3), 150-153



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