Issues, Challenges and Prospects of Free Education Policy and Girl Child Education in Nigeria: A Study of Niger State

Issues, Challenges and Prospects of Free Education Policy and Girl Child Education in Nigeria: A Study of Niger State

Author(s) by Abdullahi Ibn-Yunusa
Pages 47-62
Keywords Free Education Policy, Girl Child Education, Gender Studies, Student Performance in Exams, Factors affecting Girl Education, Niger State Education Policy.
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Abstract


The study examined the effect of the free education policy on girl-child education in Nigeria; using Niger state as a case study. It also examined the effect of the policy on students‟ performance in final exams. Both primary and secondary sources were used to gather data. The primary data were analyzed using descriptive statistics technique. It is assumed that once education is made free and the economic factor hindering the girl-child access and participation in school is removed, the influences of other noneconomic factors become insignificant. Findings of the study indicate that in spite of the free education policy, girl-child education is still hindered by noneconomic factors such as early marriage, religion and household factors. The study also demonstrated that free education has negative impact on students‟ performance in final exams (WAEC and NECO). Also it was discovered that a few percentage of the populace are unaware of the modus operandi of the policy; to the extent that they still pay school fees. Consequently the following recommendations were made: the State Agency for Mass Education should be repositioned to handle campaign of the policy while being included among Agencies responsible for implementation of the Niger State Education Sector Strategic Plan; the tuition fees of female students schooling in the state‟s tertiary institutions should be subsidized; The state should re introduce the payment of final examinations fee; and the establishment of single-sex (girls only) tertiary institution in the state.

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