Felix Ikem, Nsukka
A professor at the Missouri State University in the United States, Prof. Jamaine Abidogun has said that the level of girl child education in Nigeria is very low and needs to be addressed for equal inclusiveness at all levels and among all genders.
She made this known while delivering a lecture at a workshop organized by the Centre for American Studies (CAST) at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka adding that the enrolment of girls in school tend to go down as some of them reportedly dropout to help their parents or hawk on the streets.
“I’m here today to promote integration of western education as a collaboration with Nigerian-American efforts and also to increase awareness for equity for girls’ and boys’ studies for gender studies in education. I think on the primary level, this is good as any country but on the secondary level, the girls tend to drop out of school and that has to be addressed especially in the sciences.
Most girls by the time they are in secondary school they are helping their parents and most especially their mother and there has to be an arrangement where they have more time to study when they are at home because it’s not enough to just leave them like that.
“Just like the boys, they need to be able to concentrate on their studies so that they are prepared to face the next phase in their education. This is seen more in the rural areas where the infrastructures are not available and sometimes not accessible. It amazing that simple things like good sanitation, good toilets so that boys and girls have privacy and accommodated while they are on the school ground are not there.
These are what keep children in school both male and female so that they feel safe that the school is taking care of them and will help them move up,” she noted.
On the situation of girl child education in the US, she said “We have our own gap on girl child education in the US though it is not as severe as this but we still have our own gaps like in the sciences girls are still under represented in the US.
I think the two exceptions are normally nursing and pharmacy just like here in Nigeria but we still struggle for equity in gender for the sciences and in particular technology is a bit better because more girls are moving out but at the corporate level there is not enough female CEOs running the technology and science industry and we are going to address that in the US just like it needs to be addressed elsewhere,” she said.
Early in his remark, the director Center for American Studies Prof. Jonah Onuoha said “today’s event is very remarkable as it is the second time in a space of 4 months that the Center for American Studies is playing host to two American scholars. The first in February during the Black History Month lecture in collaboration with Public Affairs of US Embassy in Nigeria”
“Since the establishment of CAST, UNN in 1998, the Center has been involved in organizing conferences, public lectures, seminars and workshops. Today’s lecture has added to the series of public lectures organized in UNN by the center”.
Prof. Onuoha thank the vice chancellor, Prof. Chukwuma Ozumba and his team for providing the Center with the necessary support for organizing the programme. He also thanked the US Ambassador to Nigeria and his team for believing in the ability of the Center to deliver by entrusting her with the organization of the public lecture in UNN.