The United Nations Children’s Fund has said that more female teachers are urgently needed in primary and secondary schools in the northern part of Nigeria to tackle the menace of the over 10 million out-of-school children in the country.
UNICEF stated this on Wednesday in its Research Report presented in Abuja.
UNICEF researchers focused on the effects of female teachers on girls’ enrolment and retention in Northern Nigeria in eight states.
The states were Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba.
The report said, “Across the eight Northern Nigerian states, 33 per cent of rural schools have at least one female teacher and 67 per cent of schools have no female teachers at all. In these rural schools, we find a positive correlation between the presence of at least one female teacher and girls’ enrollment.
“Our immediate recommendations are one: prepare and hire more female teachers and deploy them to rural schools.
“More female teachers are needed in Northern Nigeria’s rural schools. Our research has shown that the mere presence of female teachers has a significant and positive influence on girls’ educational outcomes.
“To provide additional perspective on the magnitude of female teacher deficit in both urban and rural areas, we calculate that in the eight states under study, rural schools will need to hire about an additional 58,121 females across 17,576 rural schools and an additional 3,775 female teachers across 4,225 urban schools.
“This deficit is much more significant in rural schools where on average, each school will have to hire additional three female teachers.”
The UNICEF report also recommended that female teachers being posted to rural areas should be boosted financially to attract first-rate candidates to the teaching profession.