By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The United Nations Children and Education Fund (UNICEF) says 58,121 female teachers are required to close the gender parity gap in rural schools in northern Nigeria.
UNICEF revealed this at a two-day dissemination workshop in Abuja on Wednesday.
The workshop focused on Research Findings conducted by UNICEF on “Effect of Female Teachers on Girls’ Enrolment and Retention in Northern Nigeria and Communication for Development (C4D) Assessment in Basic Education.
The research, which was conducted by UNICEF in 2018 in eight northern states, was aimed at improving the attendance of females in schools in the north.
The eight northern states used as focal study are Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.
A resource person at the session, Dr Noel Ihebuzor, said to achieve gender parity in rural communities, the number of female teachers would have to increase four-fold.
Ihebuzor, who spoke on “Effect of Female Teachers on Girls’ Enrolment and Retention in Northern Nigeria”, said Federal Government should employ more female teachers to improve access, retention and quality learning in schools.
He noted that teachers had a substantial positive effect on girls’ educational outcome, saying “if the quality of education is improved, it becomes an attraction for parents to send their children to school.
“Boko Haram is not the main reason why parents do not send their wards to school in the North; before Boko Haram, many families do not send their children to school.
“General insecurity and poverty could also hinder parents from sending their wards to schools,” he said.
On research findings on ‘Communication for Development (C4D) Assessment in Basic Education (CABE) in Nigeria,’ UNICEF C4D specialist, Mr Ogu Enemaku, said it showed that female teachers’ presence in schools determined children’s access, retention and completion in schools.
Enemaku added that access, quality and accountability were essential for the development of any country’s educational system. (NAN)