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EVALUATION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN FOSTERING WOMEN EDUCATION IN WOMEN CENTRES IN NIGERIA
The study is concerned with evaluation of the Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs in fostering women education in women centres in Nigeria. The objective of study includes among others, identification of the contributions and efforts of NGOs in assisting women in fostering their education in women centres with respect to enrolment, retention, skills acquisition and monitoring of products (beneficiaries). The study adopted the descriptive survey design. The data collection instruments include questionnaire and checklist. The study population was two hundred and thirty thousands, six hundred and forty (230,640) women in women centres in Nigeria.Six states were used.One state was randomly selected from each of the six geo-political zones. A sample of one thousand six hundred and twenty respondents including providers (NGOs) and beneficiaries (Women in women centres) were drawn from all the six geo-political zones of Nigeria in one hundred and eight (108) women centres. Seven research questions and seven hypotheses were developed and were tested and answered respectively. The hypotheses were tested using non-parametric statistics of chi-square.The findings revealed that embroidery skill is the most predominant skill taught in the centres. The study also revealed that NGOs contribute to skills acquisition programme in women centres by providing materials and skilled manpower to train women in culinary skills such as cake baking, and other fries. Based on the findings, it was concluded that NGOs are very important in fostering women education in Nigeria and with their continuous support a lot of progress will be made in women empowerment. Skills acquisition facilities for, sewing and pomade making are the most available facilities in the centres. It was recommended that NGOs in Nigeria should create adequate publicity of their activities especially in rural villages using traditional, religious leaders and radio programme in their local dialect; more women centres should be built by the government and even local communities in every location in the country; the graduates in culinary and other relevant skills from the women centres should be offered recognized certificates that can get them employment to be self-reliant.
1.3 Background to the Study
The federal government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument per excellence for effective national development. Education can be viewed as the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society (Graham, 1991). Education is a fundamental instrument which differentiates a fully developed human being from other mammals. It is a criterion for measuring the mental, spiritual, political, and to some extent the material development of man (Aliyu, 2004). Education therefore is a necessary ingredient for a meaningful development for a man and woman as well as their society. Education in other words is the key to success of mankind. Thus, whoever wants to operate a happy and successful life in this world must acquire and make use of education.
For the life of mankind to be meaningful, purposeful, goal-oriented as well as living in peace and tranquility and to achieve societal concord, men and women must acquire qualitative, functional, goal oriented, useful, positively beneficial education (Lazuru, 1996). Education is the basis, the invariable index for the socio-political, economic, physical, moral, spiritual, scientific and technological development of man and his society. Based on what we discuss above it follows therefore that, women education is a must for a meaningful national development.
The concept of education, according to Musaazi (1986), includes all those activities within and outside the family that are consciously planned and organized to achieve specific educational objectives. It is only education that can prepare the young people for future membership of the society and active participation in its development. Education as could be deduced from the discussions made so far, is partly about primary socialization and as well as the process of imparting knowledge, skills and essentially about the preservation as well as expansion of knowledge for progress and development both at individual and groups and within the societal level (Dinar, 2009).
The attention of the researcher is drawn to the situation of women education (The Role of NGOs in Fostering Women Education in women centers) because a Nigerian woman is seen as passive sexual object who should be a devoted wife and a mother, and for whom society has carved out defined roles, manners and acceptable characteristics (Maduewesi 2005). According to the Nigerian cultures, women are not seen or heard publically, except in few cases and with absolute permission of her husband. The Nigerian women are relegated to the background, ignored, dehumanized and generally confined to lower status in the society. She only featured when allowed and in some descriptive activities like, serving, dancing and entertainment.
In the contemporary Nigerian situation, concerned individuals as well as a number of non-governmental organizations, have developed interest in women education. Because of its commitment to the international conventions on the right of women, Nigeria is taking a clue from what is happening in other countries of the world. It has been observed that with all government efforts in making it possible to educate women, some problems persisted and we continue to see women lagging behind. Oyinlola (2000) reflecting on Kofi Annan's report, indicated that in economic terms, gender divide is still widening; women earn less, are more often unemployed and generally poorer than men.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) both International and national (such as UNDP, World Bank, Government of Other Countries, Ford Foundation; John Kennedy Foundation, ESSPIN, LEAP, USAID, UKAID DFID, JICA, NCSW and NWC) play vital roles in complimenting governmental efforts towards meeting human needs in almost all countries. Very few countries have reached the stage of sustaining the human condition at optimal level, whatever the gross national product (GNP) and other indicators of wealth through dependence on government's action alone. NGOs fill in the gaps while systematically prodding governments will and the collective conscience.
In the area of social development, many researchers agreed that NGOs play significant roles. One of these researchers was Asomoah (2002) who observed that, NGOs play a significant role in the social development process in all regions of the world. They are particularly critical in circumstance where state funds are limited, political situation are fluid, national disaster resulting from both predictable and unpredictable environment occurs, ethnic strife are rampant and the level per capital income severely restricts the ability to purchase needed goals and services – social, educational and economic. The urge to involve the private sector and civil society in the delivery of social services is not less rooted in the changing perception of governance, a critical element in effective implementation of ideas and policies. According to a report by UNDP (1997), Governance includes not only the states but transcends it by taking in the private sector and the civil society. All the three are critical for sustaining human development. The state creates conducive political and legal environment. The private sector generates jobs and income, and civil society facilities political and social interaction - mobilization group to participate in economic, social and political activities.
Meanwhile, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) also help to improve people's lives through skills, training and other means of livelihood programmes. NGOs also prepare and implement development projects and work to strengthen national institutional capabilities and promote community self-reliance. They also make significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the society. Often NGOs enjoy advantages over government and private sector institutions and can deliver services to hard-to-reach communities in a more efficient, cost - effective manner. While development NGOs vary greatly in size and orientation, Asian Development Bank in its document (2002:17) asserts that;
Most share the common goal of helping people and benefiting society. International and various NGOs support larger scale activities ranging from social welfare to environment and political advocacy. NGOs at the national level provide service that include community organization, health, education, welfare support, small scale financial inter mediation and environment protection.
Donor agencies like (DFIC) have identified slow rate of programme delivery and have therefore set out to involve NGOs and community-Based organizations (CBOs) and the private sector in order to accelerate programme implementation and delivery thereby ensuring that the ultimate beneficiaries of such programme, that is, the national grassroots communities were reached. This is therefore, the reason behind the capacity building and revolution drives of donor agencies such as the UNDP, UNICEF and so on. Under this arrangement, it is expected that communities in which projects are going to be sited and executed, the local government area councils, the state government and the donor agencies would all contribute. This partnership joint exercise will ensure that the sense of the national ownership of such projects is inculcated and maintained in the minds of the people would still continue and better maintained. In this vein, a host of national, national and intervarious NGOs operation throughout the world has made tremendous strides in helping nations meet and sustain their development objectives in the face of momentous challenges. They have help to facilitates achievements in basic human development as measured by the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) (UNDP, 2000: 22).
Based on the foregone, NGOs play a vital role in fostering women education in Nigeria, the implementation of the goals outlined in the millennium development plan of action to end poverty and realize the agenda for Education for All (EFA). According to UNDP (2003) areas targeted for achieving sustainable growth are governance, health, education and infrastructure. Mobilizing grassroots support is already a major component of the mission of many successful NGOs. Education is the gateway to advancement of any society, as such for any nation to reach a meaningful level of advancement; it has to educate its citizens.
The above proclamation has been recognized by all member countries of the U.N; therefore efforts have been put forward to wider access to education to all citizens. Non government organization (NGOs) have for several years been committed to the provision of education through participation in almost all the educational processes in order to improve the rate and quality of education. For instance, in the area of literacy development, NGOs have had a long and active role in the coordinating adult literacy activities.
NGOs constitute the major volunteers in executing philanthropist projects all over the world. Lewin (1993) posits that, NGOs can have important advantages over official organizations in coordinating action mobilizing large numbers of volunteers and making good use of scarce resources. On the other hand, government sponsored schemes may not capture the imagination of the commitment to improve the conditions of illiterate and marginalized groups does not exist, and may suffer from indifferences on the part of those they attempt to help.
NGOs‘initiatives to enhance access to education for the disadvantaged people and to increase the quality of schooling cannot be over emphasized. NGOs have been demonstrating effective grassroots action to enhance the quality of basic education and have also been influencing mainstream education through replication of their models and through policy dialogue with the government. It is in view of these that the researcher is interested in finding out the roles of these non-governmental organizations in fostering women education in Nigeria
1.4 Statement of the Problem
Between 1960 and early 1980s, the education of women was neglected in Nigeria (Samson, 1997). Traditionally, Usman, Suleiman and John, 2006, argued that women are especially created to support men, as such, women have been expected to play a second fiddle to men in all areas of human endeavours including the areas of economic activities. Towards the end of 1980s, under the pressure of international communities, Non-Governmental Organizations in partnership with Nigerian Government began to pay attention to women education (Samson, 1997). This was as a result of the pressure of the international communities. Although according to 2006 population census women account for nearly 50% of the population in Nigeria, yet they represent a very small fraction of those educated in the country.
The fact that there has been no deliberate policy to deny girls and women access to education, there certainly exist some amount of prejudice resulting from social, economic and cultural set up in communities which put our women at disadvantage. The emphasis in many homes is on the education of the male children. In most Northern communities and some few Southern parts of Nigeria, it is still believed that the place of the woman is in the home. Sons are sent to schools and universities while daughters are made to remain at home to help their mothers with household work and even business, especially in the markets and on the farms. Even if girls are allowed to go to schools, they are openly discouraged from going beyond the primary and secondary education (Zagga, 1995).
Despite the provision of the Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right of 1998 which declares that ―All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and right‖ that women folk in Nigeria still lag behind in terms of educational attainments. Equally disturbing, the mobilization campaigns embark upon by the government and other concerned bodies through radio, television, newspapers and magazines and so on are having minute impact. This may be seen as an indication that Government and Non Governmental Organizations are not seriously sponsoring women Education.
However, the Programmes initiated by some former Nigerian presidents‘ wives officially known as First Ladies such late Mrs.(Dr.) Maryam Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (of blessed memory) and Mrs. Maryam Sani Abacha, had contributed in no small measure in elevating the position and status of women in the Nigerian society. History will always give credits to programmes like ―Better Life for Rural Women‖, ―Family Support Programmes (FSP) and Family Economic Advancement Programmes (FEAP)‖ for the vital roles such schemes played in making a number of women in the country to be aware of their fundamental human rights. In these entire endeavours, non-governmental organizations had played several numerous roles to see to the success of the programmes, yet to no avail.
It is in view of the above development that this particular study is interested in investigating the role the non-Governmental Organizations play in fostering women education in selected states of the federation. Low rate of women enrolment and attendance in women centres has continuously attracted the attention of stake holders in Nigeria. Many stakeholders particularly the NGOs realized the danger of neglecting women education in Nigeria, which prompted them to assume responsibility of contributing towards women education in such non-formal educational settings. To meaningfully contribute to women education in Nigeria, the works of NGOs should not be confined in formal schools alone, but rather non-formal settings such as women centres need to be given the attention they deserve. Of particular interest is to discover the types of NGOs that render services that are geared towards fostering women education in the country, the impact such programmes have on the enrolment of women in such centres, as well as all other issues, challenges and prospects that are associated with the activities of the organizations in question in the women centers to be studied. The main problem of this study is to find out the role Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) play in fostering women education in the women centres in Nigeria with regards to assistance, attendance, retention, skills acquisition and capacity building.
1.3 Objectives of the Research
The objectives of the research are to:
- identify the categories of support provided by Non-Governmental Organizations to women centres in Nigeria;
- examine the strategies of Non-Governmental Organizations on the enrolment of women in the study area;
- ascertain the level to which Non-Governmental organizations foster women education in the study area;
- examine the effect of Non-Governmental Organizations on the level of women‘s attendance in to the training centers in the study area;
- exploy the effect of NGOs on women‘s skill acquisition in the study area; and
- Examine the roles of NGOs in monitoring the utilization of the acquired skills by women in the study area.
1.4 Research Questions
The study answered the following questions:
- What categories of support provided by Non-Governmental Organizations to women centres in Nigeria?
- What are the strategies of Non-Governmental Organizations on the enrolment of women in the study area?
- What is the extent to which Non-Governmental organizations foster women education in the study area?
- What is the effect of Non-Governmental Organizations on the level of women‘s attendance in to the training centers in the study area?
- What is the effect of NGOs on women‘s skill acquisition in the study area?
- What are the roles of NGOs in monitoring the utilization of the acquired skills by women in the study area?
- There is no significant difference between the respondents views on the categories of support provided by Non-Governmental Organizations to women centres in Nigeria
- There is no significant difference between the respondents views on the strategies of Non-Governmental Organizations on the enrolment of women in the study area;
- There is no significant difference between the respondents views on the level to which Non-Governmental organizations foster women education in the study area;
- There is no significant difference between the respondents views on the effect of Non-Governmental Organizations on the level of women‘s attendance in to the training centers in the study area;
- There is no significant difference between the respondents views on the effect of
NGOs on women‘s skill acquisition in the study area; and
- There is no significant difference between the respondent’s views on the roles of NGOs in monitoring utilization of the acquired skills by women in the study area.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
The basic assumptions held by the researcher include the following:
- The NGOs can assist if fully utilize in encouraging women school enrolment.
- The NGOs assist in encouraging women school attendance,
- The non- governmental organizations if fully utilized can encourage and maintain the women retention in the women centers
- The NGOs can equally improve capacity to earn a livelihood.
- The NGOs can also increase community awareness of the value of educating women and improving their capacity to skill acquisition.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The study is concerned with the role of Non Governmental Organization in fostering women education in Nigeria. It is hoped that this study will proffer ways and means of encouraging women education in Nigeria by identifying the contribution of Non-governmental organizations. The findings of this research will equally guide the government and other Donor agencies like the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and others in identifying and funding National Non Governmental Organizations that dedicate their activities towards fostering women education.
The findings of this research will serve as a solution to the problems face by women in pursuing their education, socially, economically, culturally, religiously and politically by identifying the efforts of Non Governmental Organizations in fostering women education in Nigeria. The NGOs themselves can use the finding of this study in evaluating its activities, achievement and contributions towards women education.
Ministry of Women Affairs will benefit from this study by identifying and commending those NGOs that foster women education. Local Government Education Authorities are closer to the women centres. This study will help the Local Government Education Authority to identify the contributions the NGOs are making in the women centres thereby strengthening their ties with the NGOs with this, parents, community and the general public will come to appreciate what the NGOs are doing and allow their wives and daughters to participate in the women centres thereby encouraging more enrolment, attendance and making their wives and daughter acquire skills that will enable them earn a living.
The findings of the study will be valuable to the state ministry of education in terms of coordination of policies in relation to Non-Governmental Organization activities, there by outlining the areas of priority when it comes to disbursement of donations given by the organizations. The result will also be very important to the state agency for Mass Education institutions; this will help in giving them a clue on how to utilize such donations given to them in cash, working materials or infrastructure.
The finding will also be important to the NGOs operating in the state (various NGOs) highlighting the areas that need more attention from them. It will also serve as a base to these agencies in their policy formulations and review of such policies to suit the prevailing situation for more active participation towards developmental issues with regards to women education in the country. In addition, it will also enlighten the general public on the nature and activities of the NGOs, how they work or function and their roles in contributing towards an effective and sustainable management of women education in Nigeria.
Curriculum planners responsible for developing the curriculum that operate in the centers will find the outcomes of this study as useful feedback that will prove to the adequacy and effectiveness of the curriculum or otherwise. As such the findings of the study will serve as a basis for deciding on or not to review the current curriculum.
1.9 Scope of the Study
The focus of this study is on Women Education in the women centers and the roles of non-governmental organizations in fostering women education in Nigeria. The study was particularly confined to the roles played by non-governmental organizations that are meant to improve women education in women centers in the country. The study the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, one state from each of the six geo-political zone – (North-west - Kano, North-east - Bauchi, North-south – Benue, South-west – Lagos, South-east – Enugu, South-south - Akwa-Ibom). Only women centered that are registered under the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs would form the population of the study.
The evaluation of non-governmental organization would focus on five variables: enrolment, attendance, retention, skills acquisition and monitoring of products (beneficiaries).
Similarly, the individual contributions towards the development of the activities of the centers would not form part of the study. In the same vein, the activities and support programmes such national organizations carry out in formal educational institutions such as primary and secondary schools would not be part of the study.
1.8.1 Map of the Study Location