By Muhammad Goronyo, Sokoto
Nigeria as a nation born on October 1, 1960 will be 57 by October. It is essential to smuggle in the say; Much water has passed under the bridge. A lot has happened since the birth of this nation.
The primary activity is to achieve national development; it is at this platform that the majority believe that the masses can live without grumbling. The one million dollar question is how far has Nigeria gone in her struggle to achieve the previledge of being counted among the developed nations? To answer this question, I must not shy away from reality. It is a painful reality that despite the vast population of the nation, despite the abundant natural resources she accommodates, and irrespective of the political sovereignty coupled with the labour sacrificed by citizens every day, Nigeria remains underdeveloped.
The theme of this essay is to access how far gender education supports the development process in this great country. First let me define the key words. Development connotes a particular stage at which a nation which is politically sovereign will be able to achieve maximum production, mass distribution and consumption by all classes of people of goods and services. Furthermore, such a nation is expected to be free of social vices.
Nigeria as a nation is bankrupt of the features of the above definition. On the part of education, it is the process of training aimed at acquiring socially approved skills and character at all levels. Such process can be formal or informal, primary or secondary. Informal education is more of primary importance because it is the most important stage at which an individual acquires his or her actual character while formal education is actually more professional. Nonetheless, the point of explanation is “gender” education.
It is naturally simple to explain the concept of gender. This is not unconnected with the natural demarcation drawn between the two sexes male and female.
The nexus between development and education is that the latter is the most essential tool for achieving the former. It is believed that mass education brings a nation closer to development. Nigeria as a nation cannot boast of mass education; this is evidenced by mass illiteracy which consequently cripples any step taken by the nation to achieve development. It is also believed that among the genders, majority of illiterates come from the female gender, therefore, the females are left out of the development process in Nigeria.
This predicament is more notorious in the northern part of the country where there is the traditional belief that woman is best “for home keeping” and therefore it is a waste of time and resources to send females to schools. The funny thing here is those that harbour this ideology always occupy the first row of people blaming this country in its failure to get developed.
The golden principle is “truth is bitter,” but this can never prevent me from voicing it out. If you are among the conservatives who despite the forces of civilization discourage education to be accessible to all genders, you must get yourself prepared to take the blame, for partaking in making our development process slow. What I mean is you must support and encourage female education so that the female population participates in developing Nigeria.
Many people, I believe, will ask me how? I have decided to provide the question with an answer by explaining the roles of gender education in national development. These roles shall be discussed under four themes viz; Economic, Political, Social and Religious importance of all sexes in nation building. Thus, the points are going to be in serration.
Economy is the backbone of every society be it developed or not; and economy is the most important medium for defining national development. This is the means at which a nation struggles to avoid waste of its resources by resorting to proper investment. This institution of nation building is more productive in nature because it is more concerned about how production of goods and services can be maximised. The most important factor needed for production is labour. Nigeria as a developing country has limited technology and is therefore left with human resources as the only alternative. Our growing industries always starve, looking for more work force. The male gender has only succeeded in solving little of this problem since the females are denied the equal opportunity of going to school. Has the reverse been the case, the females would have by now been equally contributing by increasing labour supply in the labour market.
Another aspect connected with economic roles of female education is the actual contribution of males in production. Today, it is quite true that majority of the men graduating from our universities are not willing to work in our local factories, these to them do not pay. Many have either joined the security forces or have succeeded in securing appointments in political offices.
It is natural that females have the patience required to build our industries to the highest peak of production. How I wish the females are currently equally educated both in number and capacity with the ir male counterparts. I believe this would have provided the long awaited panacea to our dyeing industries. The females would have filled the vacancies deserted “for-good” by their opposite. This fact makes female education necessary.
Production of the sole proprietorship level is very common in Nigeria. Majority of those engaged in domestic production are females. The knowledge that such domestic production support national income is not possessed by a common man. But these women, irrespective of their contributions, are not perfected, ie the Government is not exposing them to modernity in which is available more sophisticated method of production, let me use this illustration.
Aisha, a typical Hausa girl, has for the past fourteen years learnt how to knit with pins; it usually takes her three weeks to complete a set of sweaters, so slow and so difficult. Aisha is however is not educated, that is why she has not the very knowledge that a knitting machine exist, with which she can complete a similar set of sweaters with very little effort in less than two hours. She does not know about its existence let alone knowing how to operate it. Has she been educated, more sweaters will be available for sale in the market, this we call increase in production.
Gender education is for sure going to forester economic development in this country. Many people will be engaged in economic activities thereby giving birth to better economic policies and mass participation.
Gender education forester political developments, the political atmosphere of a developed society must be based on democracy. This is participation by the majority through representation. This spirit does not exist in Nigeria because there is no clean representation in the government. Only one gender is actively represented in the government, the other gender or to be more precise, females do not have representatives in the government because of the restricted access to education which they suffer. Women have today, very little to contribute in government. The reverse would have no doubt been the case if females enjoy similar access to education like the males, it will quite be a different story if women are given education to stimulate and motivate female’s right from the grassroots to ensure their participation in power structures and decision making bodies. Education is the most potent way through which both genders will enjoy equal participation and representation in developing the country.
A society that is devoid of socially approved behaviour is a corrupt society and therefore is sick in development efforts. Gender education is very important because it provides efficient socialization which gives an individual a sense of belonging, solidarity and patriotic feeling about his or her society.
It is important that women receive education like or even more than men because women play the most important role in societal development. This is due to the fact that apart from child bearing, nursing and breast feeding, a woman is a primary teacher in her family. She plays a plausible role in shaping characters of members of the society. It is natural that children of an educated woman receive the best of care and therefore, such children will grow up with skills and character to contribute in developing the society. Children of an illiterate mother will grow up idle because the mother has, from the onset, nothing to teach them. Majority of such children end up as black-marketers and area boys.
I, at this juncture, strongly believe in the popular slogan that says, “Educate a woman and educate a community”. Education is one of the characteristics of development, all gender education means education for the whole society which is development.
Religiously, education is the motivator of faith and faith prevents grievous social ills. When men and women receive education, there will be a decline in crime. Purity will persist as a harbinger of development.
Finally, education is the live wire of every society without which a society cannot count on developments. For education to be enough, it has to be accessible to both the male and female population of the society. Limited education does not encourage development. But all gender education engineers development in the society. Ignorance is no excuse for underdevelopment and Nigeria’s problem is not money, but how to spend it.
Aliu Toluwani bags Future Awards nomination in education
Founder of Upsurge Foundation formerly called Upsurge Global, Aliu Toluwani Victor, has been nominated for the prestigious Future Africa Award under the Education category.
Known for his impactful work in EdTech and digital education, Toluwani has dedicated himself to fostering global leaders through youth empowerment and entrepreneurship.
As a current Global Youth Ambassador at Theirworld, Toluwani has been at the forefront of innovative initiatives such as the National Leadership Summit and Royal Leadership Fellowship. His commitment to advancing education is evident in his efforts, having successfully trained over 5,000 students across 30 secondary and tertiary institutions, promoting EdTech and design thinking for community development.
Toluwani’s initiatives, including the groundbreaking “Aliu Empowerment Program” that granted tuition-free scholarships to over 40 students and the skill development powerhouse “Regal Tech Academy” which has equipped hundreds of students with tech skills across Africa, have made a substantial impact on education.
Toluwani organised the African Royal Leadership Fellowship in Kigali, Rwanda, hosting fellows from 5 African countries. This event not only showcased his commitment to global youth empowerment but also highlighted his dedication to fostering positive change on a continental scale. Collaborating with esteemed organizations such as Sterling One Foundation, JCI Rwanda, United Nations Association of Nigeria, and The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust UK, Toluwani is a beacon of inspiration for young people worldwide.
His nomination for the Future Africa Award in the Education category is a testament to his unwavering dedication to advancing education through technology. The Future Africa Award, recognised by Forbes International as the “most important youth awards,” acknowledges individuals making significant contributions to society. Toluwani’s nomination highlights the impact of his work and the transformative role he plays in shaping the future of education in Africa.
Lead City Voices rewards students with over N50,000 cash prize at annual debate
Lead City Voices, a student association in Lead City University has rewarded students with cash prizes worth over N50,000 at its annual debate.
The 8th inter-faculty debate competition had its theme as: “Nigeria Educational crisis: Is it Government, Students, Parents, Teachers, Curriculum the cause?”
Representatives from Lead City’s faculty of communication and information sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of management and social sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Pharmacy, Environmental design & management, Engineering, Natural & Applied Sciences, College of Medicine participated in the debate.
In the grand finale, Faculty of Natural and Applied sciences ended with 140 points for supporting the notion given, Faculty of Law had a total of 145 points, Faculty of Management and social sciences garnered a total of 150 points to beat Faculty of Law.
The Faculty of Management and social sciences emerged as the overall winner with a congratulatory cash prize of N25,000 award certificate and Lead City Voices magazine and journal.
The dexterity of the Faculty of Law earned them the second position and a cash prize of N15,000 with an award certificate alongside Lead City Voices magazine and journal.
The eloquent and well crafted speech of the Faculty of Natural and Applied sciences made them emerge as the 3rd position with a cash prize of N10,000, award certificate, Lead City Voices Magazine and journal.
Commenting, the President of Leadcity Voices President, Ogunola Victor disclosed that the first round of the debate, which held on 21 November, 2023 afforded speakers from the participating Faculties five minutes each, while the chief speakers had an additional minute to summarise their points.
He added that participants were placed in two groups, with each having a topic to support or oppose accordingly.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo represented by the University’s Head of Marketing, Dr (Mrs) A. Deborah, praised LCV for organising the debate which will help students think critically as well as proffer tangible contributions to issues of worldwide importance.
Ogun Assembly urges tertiary institutions to reduce fees
The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, has appealed to tertiary institutions owned by the Ogun State Government to reduce fees payable by students.
Oluomo asked them to reconsider the plight of indigent parents by doing a downward review of the recently hiked tuition fees.
It was gathered that students of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun and those of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, recently took to the streets to protest the hike in fees by the learning institutions.
During plenary on Wednesday, the Minority Leader and lawmaker representing Odogbolu State Constituency, Lukman Adeleye, called the Assembly’s attention to the sudden rise in fees and the protests that greeted the development.
Adeleye, earlier in his presentation, recounted the recent mass protest by the students of Tai Solarin University of Education, pleading that the Assembly wade into the matter to ensure a reduction of the hiked fees.
Reacting, Oluomo acknowledged the adverse effects of the economic challenges being faced by parents currently.
The Speaker noted that it was “important for the Heads of the tertiary institutions to show more compassion and empathy by allowing the new fees to wear human faces so as not to put the students at a disadvantage.”
He explained that though the institutions might have the compelling need to increase their fees to meet their pressing needs, given the high rate of inflation, the fees should be affordable.
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