By Abbas Bamalli
An education pressure group, High Level Women Advocates (HILWA) on Sunday expressed concern about the low performance of Katsina State students at the 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
An official of the group, Dr Binta Ado, expressed the worry at the close of a two-day roundtable with members of the Katsina State House of Assembly and other stakeholders held in Kano.
Participants at the roundtable discussed a Bill drafted by HILWA seeking for the enactment of a law to provide 35 per cent decision-making positions for women in the education sector.
They also discussed the implementation of a law on compulsory access to education for all children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2022 WASSCE result showed that Nigerian students performed 5 per cent worse than what they did in 2021 nationwide.
According to Ado, the report indicated that Katsina State ranked 33rd position out of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
She attributed the low performance, especially among the girl child in Katsina State to low number of female principals, teachers and head teachers in schools.
“We feel that with more female teachers, head teachers and principals, the performance of the children will improve.
“Currently, pre-primary school teachers in the state are 987, out of which 508 are male, while 479 are female; which gives female 49 per cent.
“Public primary schools have 24,194 teachers, out of which 18,060 are males, while only 6,134 are females, giving females only 25 per cent.
“In Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), we have 4,943 teachers out of which 3,954 are male, while only 989 are female teachers, giving females just 20 per cent.
“At the Senior Secondary Schools (SSS), we have 4,872 teachers, 4,031 of whom are male, while and 841 are female, making 17 per cent for females. This is the current annual school census in Katsina State,’’ she said.
According to her, the overall aggregate for females in primary and secondary schools is 28 per cent. The same thing is happening in all sections of the education sector in Katsina State.
Ado pointed out that Katsina State is one of the five states that are backward in enrolment, retention, transition and completion of school years, especially among female children.
“In most cases, parents don’t allow their girl children to continue with their education in schools having few female teachers or principals,’’ she noted.
Responding, Deputy Speaker of Katsina State’s House of Assembly, Alhaji Shehu Dalhatu-Tafoki pledged that the assembly would pass the Bill before the end of its tenure.
The meeting was organised by UNICEF, HILWA, the Federal and State governments, and funded by UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.