CAUSES OF DISPARITY BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE ENROLEMENT IN ADULT EDUCATION

ABSTRACT

This research work examined causes of disparity between male and female enrolment in adult Education. Five research questions were generated to guide the study line with the objectives of the study.

The population of this study comprised student of University of Lagos Akoka Yaba, Five department were selected for the study. The descriptive survey design was used to conduct the study. Questionnaire was the instrument designed by the researcher and administered to the respondents for collection of data. A total of one hundred and fifty respondents were randomly selected as sample size for the study. Data analysis was carried out using simple percentage and frequency tables. The study found among other things that, the programme organized to reduce causes of disparity between male and female enrolment in adult Education has been fairly successful and that there are constraints which include inadequate of fundings, Lack of grassroot planning, and male from this study, The study recommended among others that there is need for restructuring of grassroot planning, adequate information should be supply that male and female students would be benefited.

Also government should have adequate financial arrangement which should be matched with an adequate administrative structure to deliver the services.

CHAPTER ONE 1.1 Introduction

There seems to be a natural gender role distinction all over the world, which has created gap in opportunities between men and women. This identified gap has constituted what is generally regarded as gender inequality among gender advocates. To them gender gap is that wide separation, the unfilled space between the male and female in various Endeavour’s, which include education. According to UNESCO (1995) the gap between the male and female literacy rates is not just about men and women and the educational opportunities provided for them, but it is also a statement about the society’s development, and its capacity and willingness to provide such opportunities.

The imbalance is noticeable in gender enrolment at all levels and types of education, as well as across various disciplines and programmes, especially at the tertiary level. Today such an existing gender gap between opportunities seems to be narrowing. However, inequalities still persist in certain regions of the world and more prominent in some sectors, of which education is one. In the third world war and in particular Nigeria, as put by Ballantine (1989) evidence indicates that subtle and blatant sexism occurs at all levels of educational system. This , no doubt is a reflection of the sex stereotype which believes so much in male children as agents of genealogical sustenance. This stereotype belief was found by Biraimah (1994) and funk (1993) to have affected access to education in general and university education in particular; and even the chance of career and profession. They both argued that sexism and gender disparity remain a significant problem at all levels of education, which require urgent solutions and strategies for ensuring gender equity. However, the philosophy guiding the Nigerian educational policy is “sound and effective citizen and equal educational opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels”(FGN 1981, 1998). By implication, the observed gender gap may not be attributable to inequality of educational opportunities. Infact, the government implementation of the free universal Basic education (UBE) that covers primary and junior secondary education could be an attempt to equalize educational opportunities throughout the country.

In addition, the location of the tertiary institutions is spatially fair to all parts of the country so as to increase access. However, the national policy on Education does not make any special provision of the female gender. While the enrolment of the first two levels of education can be said to be moving towards gender equalization observations on the higher education, especially the university seems to be the opposite. For instance, the percentage female enrolled at the secondary schools in 1980 and 1999 were 13% and 30% respectively, while they were 25% and 36% in 1980 and 1999 respectively for the male. Similarly, female enrolment at the primary education level ranged between 43. 2% and 45.5% between 1990 and 1998. It ranged between 42.7% and 47% during the same period at the secondary education level. At the University level, the average overall percentage was 29.8% during the same period for the female. Grey (1993) and Boquerón (1991) pointed out that the issue now is not of equal educational opportunity alone, but gender disparity in enrolment among various courses, especially the sciences and science-related discipline. The implication according to them was that narrowing the gender gap further would require breaking down gender barriers in certain courses.

In a related ethnographic carried out by Holland and Eisenhart (1990) on why few women become scientists or mathematicians, their findings revealed that gender disparity is experienced as an individual phenomenon. In spite of these efforts to close gender gap in education, most African countries seem not to have embraced women’s rights in the formulation of their educational policies, particularly at the tertiary level. This, UNICEF (1992) rightly observed that a more significant and alarming dimension is that gaps continue to be high. Reports from UNESCO (1995) indicated that boys enrolled in schools more than girls. For instance, at the first level of education, nearly 85 million or 24.5% of the world’s girls are estimated to be out of school as compared to the 60 million or 16.4% of the world boys. The report shows also showed that five hundred and sixty-five million of women or two-third of world’s illiterate adults are women and most of them live in the developing regions of Africa.

The country’s average enrolment in primary schools between 1989 and 1995 showed that girls recorded a national average of 44.46%. The enrolment at primary, post-primary and tertiary levels of education reflects gender imbalance. The inferior position of women, particularly in African societies is seen to be normal, and indeed, reinforced by the prevailing religious, economic, political, cultural, social and legal institutions. These factors include poverty; distance of schools and school related factors are generally regarded as common reasons for the persistent gender gap across cultures (UNICEF 1992). In the African setting, the culture appears dominated by paternalism and stereotyped tendencies. The Nigeria culture for instance, accords the male children priority over female right from birth, which transcends into schooling and inheritance. Particularly among the very low income earners and illiterate parents who cannot afford western education for their numerous children, many choose to send the male children to school while giving out their female children in marriage even at tender age raises money for the education of their brothers. The rate of female enrolment ranged between 26.22% in 1988/89 academic session and 43.09% in 1996/97. However, it should be noted that there was a steady increase in the rate of female enrolment over the period. The increase was, however, not too significant, except for the year 1996/97 academic session. In Nigeria, the seemingly low female enrolment at the tertiary level may not be solely attributed to discrimination. This is because female enrolment at the first levels of education is still lower than that of male. Consequently, continues to the university level (Adeyemi 2001). Fortunately, the trend is gradually improving due to modernization and public awareness.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Reports from UNESCO (1995) indicated that boys enrolled in schools are more than girls. For instance, at the first level of education, nearly 85 million or 24.5% of the world’s girls are estimated to be out of school as compared to the 60% or 16.4% of the world boys. The reports also showed that 565 million women or two-third of world’s illiterate adults are women and most of them live in the developing regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Indeed recent reports by UNICEF (2013), indicated that Nigeria is currently rated along with Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Pakistan as the nine most populous countries of the world with over 70% of the world’s non-literate people. Furthermore, while 60% of Nigerian women are illiterate in 1980, it increased to 63% in 1995, out of which 32.7% were male and 52.7% were female. This rate varies from North to South of the country. For example, federal Ministry of women affairs and social development (FMWASD) and UNICEF (2012) observed that at least 85.7% of females in Northern Nigeria are illiterate as against 31.1% in the southern part.

The inferior position of women, particularly in African societies is seen to be normal, and indeed, reinforced by the prevailing religious, economic, political, cultural, social and legal institutions. These factors includes poverty, distance from schools and school related factors are generally regarded as common reasons for the persistent gender gap across cultures (UNICEF 1992). In the African setting, the culture appears dominated by paternalism and stereotyped tendencies. The Nigerian culture for instance, accords the male priority over female right from birth, which transcends into schooling and even inheritance. Particularly among the very low earners and illiterate parents who cannot afford western education for their numerous children, many choose to send the male children to school while giving out their female children in marriage even at tender ages to raise money for education of their brothers. The following data sheds more light. From the 1991 population census figure, 11,148,681 belonged to 10-14 age group and 9,335,798 belonged to 15-19 age group. Out of this figure, 651,273 and 2,045,063 were married, which constituted 5.8% and 21.9% respectively (National Population Commission 1991 and Federal office of statistics 1999). The 5.8% that married from 10-14 age groups were female and most of the 21.9% that married from 15-19 age groups were also female. Unfortunately, these married teenage girls are from low income and illiterate families.

They were suppose to be children of school going age by Nigerian educational policy, which stipulated age 3-5 years for pre-primary education, 6-11 years for primary education,12-18 years for junior and senior secondary education (NPE 1981,1998) and the legal marriage age in the country is 21 years Nigeria especially Yoruba. Alternatively, the female are often engage in domestic and farm labour or street hawking and related task that are essential to the household economy. UNICEF(1997) national consumer survey revealed that about 48% of Nigerians were poor with 17% of them being extremely poor and cannot avail themselves of the opportunity of formal education.

In many rural settlements, children sometimes have to go long distances on foot to attend school. The distance of schools from home often place girls safety at risk while at the same time keeping them away from domestic chores for longer periods of time. In certain communities, particularly the Islamic cultures, change of girls going to school may further be thwarted due to lack of proximity, when separate school facilities are not available to girls and the absence of female teachers and relevant gender-sensitive curricular. Thus, in must parts of the Islamic, Nigeria where parents only grudgingly allow their female children to go to school, for religious and cultural believes, the traces of what term ”negative western influences” in the school setting easily makes them to even withdraw their daughters before completing primary education. This development tends to affect the enrolment of girls up the tertiary level.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

This research work is an attempt

1. To ascertain level of disparity in enrolment into universities.

2. To examine the causes of disparity between male and female in universities.

3. To determine the extent to which cultural biases affect women’s participation in adult education.

4. To determine the extent of gender barriers in adult education programmes in universities.

5. To suggests ways of removing obstacles to the enrolment of different gender into adult education.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be raised in view to achieving the purpose of the study

1. What is the level of gender disparity in enrolment in the universities?

2. What are the causes of disparity between male and female in universities?

3. Do family responsibilities affect women in adult education training in universities?

4. What is the extent of gender barrier in adult education programmes in the universities?

5. To what extent do women participate in adult education training compared to their counterparts?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is significant in a number of ways. In the first place, the factors affecting women’s participation in adult education need to be thoroughly investigated for better understanding of the phenomenon. This study is expected to provide a breakthrough in helping to identify the factors affecting women’s effective participation in adult education. It is hoped that the study will provide useful information to policy and decision machinery makers which will enable them to put in place effective machinery for overcoming such factors and thus raise the level of women’s participation in adult education. The investigation will also help to acquaint other researchers and academicians the field of adult education with specific on interest on women education.

In addition, the finding of the study will be of immense value to adult learners, instructors, administrators of literacy programmes and the agency for adult and non-formal education as it is expected to help them identify problem areas, way forward, thereby improving on women’s investment and participation in adult education. besides, since the study is expected to make clear the factors which is affecting women’s effective participation in adult education, the measure to adopt in turning the situation around. It is hoped that policy makers and planners including implementers of adult literacy programmes in the area in particular and the country in general will then become better informed and therefore be able to decide on the variable to take into consideration when formulating, planning and implementation strategies and policies for the growth and development of adult education. Finally, it will help to increase women’s awareness about the existence of the programme and thus encourage them to be more involved.

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study is limited to University of Lagos located at Yaba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. The study will make useful suggestions to narrow the gender gap in the University enrolment in the nearest future, which included sustained enlightenment programmes and accommodating the females. The limitation and militating factors are time and financial constraints and the uncooperative attitude of the respondents in getting the questionnaires filled.

1.7 Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined as used in the study:

1. Enrolment: Is the act of officially joining a course or a school.

2. Gender: The fact of being male or female.

3. Gender Specific: This is connected with men only or women only.

4. Disparity: A difference especially connected with unfair treatment.

5. Access: This is the right or ability of approaching or entering.

6. Student: A person who studies a particular academic subject.

1.8 Historical Background of University of Lagos

University of Lagos state was founded in 1962, for over 5 decade, provided qualitative and research-oriented education to Nigerians and all those who have entered its domain in search of knowledge. At its inception, the University of Lagos was empowered to produce a professional workforce that would steer the political, social and economic development of a newly independent country. Over the last fifty years the University has pursued this mission with vigour, excellence and panache. The University has built a legacy of academic excellence and is now acclaimed publicly as “the University of First Choice and the nation’s pride”. The establishment of the University of Lagos in 1962 was informed by the need to intensify the training of a professional workforce for a newly dependent Nigeria in search of rapid industrialization and economic development. The University began with three faculties: commerce and Business Administration, Law and Medicine. At its first meeting the Board of the faculty of Commerce and Business Administration changed the name of the faculty of Business and social studies. The Faculties of Art, Education, Engineering and science were added in 1964.

For the first academic session, 1962/1963, the University admitted 46 students for the faculty of commerce and Business Administration and 26 for the faculty of law. These students for the faculty of commerce and Business Administration and 26 for the faculty of law. These students received their first lectures on 22 October 1962 at the temporary site in a secondary school at idi-araba, adjacent to the medical school and the teaching hospital. 28 medical students had already commenced lectures three weeks earlier on 3 October, 1962. The University moved from its temporary location in idi-Araba to the Akoka main campus in September 1965. The direction of the University’s future development was consolidated with the promulgation of the University of Lagos decree in 1967 (Decree No. 3 of 1967). The new constitution created an integrated and more structurally coherent institution by establishing a single council for the whole University. The previous arrangement had two separate councils, one for the University and the other for medical school. By the beginning of the 1970’s, the University had developed an unwieldy and confusing academic structure in which the faculty system operated alongside the school and the collegiate systems. Law and Engineering were faculties; Education and Medicine were colleges, while Biological sciences, Mathematics and physical sciences, Environmental Design, Social studies, Administration, Humanities, and African studies were schools. On 28 June 1973, senate finally adopted the faculty system for the whole university, conceding the collegiate system only to the college of Medicine. The re-designation of the college of Education required a constitutional amendment and following the promulgation of the University of Lagos.

The school postgraduate studies, whose dramatic growth has attracted the sobriquet, “the lagoon lighthouse, was established on 22 July 1981. In 1984, Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB) was merged with the University of Lagos.

University of Lagos’ Mission

The University of Lagos established autonomous commercial outfits as a means to generating additional revenue. Foremost among these are Unilag Consult and Unilag Ventures.