2.1                                                INTRODUCTION
            “Even the shadow of a man is preferable to no man at all” that is how the International Ideas News (December 2002 edition), captured an Arabic commons saying. It is a statement of fact that the Nigerian state, Africa and indeed the world over have been chaperoned by the concept of patriarchy. In simple terms, patriarchy emerges from a combination of latin and Greek terms. In latin, the word “Pater” means father, while “Arche” means rule in Greek. Patriarchy thus connotes “male rule” Drawing from this connection therefore, social anthropology notes that patriarchy depicts a concept which the family and the entire socials system is centered around the man, who has absolute authority over women, children, dependents and property.

            It belabors the obvious to point out that arising from the above assertion that families in most parts of the world that have no male children feel unfulfilled. Most marriages in Africa that are not able to produce male children face the danger of instability. This prelude explains the position of the girl child in our society. It is definitely clear to state that no society has achieved socio-economic, educational or political equality between the girl child and the male. There remain pockets of discriminatory policies that give the male child advantage over  his sister.
            However there are relative differences between countries, with the gap between men and women generally greater in the least developed states than in the economically development countries. It is high time Radio programmes and parents got involved in the campaign for the girl-child education and the various roles radio and parent could play in eradicating or reducing discriminations against the girl-child and ultimately improve girl child education in Nigeria.

2.2       Concept of the Girl-Child Education
            Within the contest of the Nigeria environment, several definitions of the child exist. The National child Welfare policy (1989) as cited by Ada, (2007) defines the girl-child as person below 14 years of age. Offorma, (2009) defines the girl child as a biological female offspring form birth to eighteen (18) years of age. This period is made up of infancy, child hood, early and late adolescence stages of development. The girl-child is seen as a young female person, who would eventually grow into woman and marry. She is conditioned to look after the young ones, the home and the kitchen. She is taught to be obedient and to internalize the notion that she is someone’s property and responsibility at childhood and her husband in adulthood. The gender apartheid places the girl-child in disadvantage position. Her potentials are suppressed and self actualization is not achieved. Education is the process of providing information to a person to help him or her develop mentally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, politically and economically (Offorma,2009). Education is one of the fundamental rights of individuals Article 2b of the Universal declaration of human rights, which was adopted by the united Nations General Assembly as cited by Nwangwu (1976) stipulated that:
i.          Everyone has the right to education – this shall be made free in the elementary and primary stages.
ii.         Elementary Education shall be made compulsory while technical and professional educational shall be made generally available.
iii.       Higher education shall be equally accessible on the basis of merit.
iv.        Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of Education that shall be given to their children.
            Education is a vital tool for empowerment that allows meaningful contributions to society. According to UNICEF,(2007), girls’ education does not only bring the immediate benefit of empowering girls, but is seen as the best investment in a country’s development. Education helps girls to develop life skills including self confidence, the ability to participate effectively in society and protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other sexual exploitations. UNICEF further asserts that girls’ education also helps in cutting children and material mortality rates, constituting to National wealth and controlling diseases and health status. Children of educated women are likely to go to school consequently; this has exponential positive effects on education and poverty eradication for generations to come. One very important aim of every family is to raise healthy and productive individuals who will contribute meaningfully to society. This can be achieved through the education of the girl-child who is the mother of tomorrow.

2.3       Crucial Issues in Girl-Child Education in Nigeria
Access to education: Access implies the right to education. It has to do with the opportunity provided for the girl-child to be educated. It is observed that many state and local governments do not take cognizance of the peculiarities of the girl-child in the provisions for education for the citizenry (Ada, 2007). Consequently, many girls do not have access to education. Girls’ access to basic education especially in Ebonyi states has remained low. Only 20 percent of women in Onicha Local government are literate and have attended school (UNICEF,2007). Okeke, Nzewi and Njoku, (2008) identified child labour, poverty and lack of sponsorship, quest for wealth, bereavement, truancy, broken home and engagement of children as house helps, as factors inhibiting children especially girls’ access to education in Nigeria. One of the most prevalent impediments to the girl-child education is child labour. Many families often send their daughters out to work at a young age to get additional income needed to exist beyond subsistence level and finance the education of male child.
            British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) news (2006) reported that African societal view point favour boys over girls because boys maintain the family lineage. That their mothers were not educated is other reasons that make them feel that their daughters do not need education. Some families justify the denial of girls of their right to educating to prevent them from bringing shame to the family through early pregnancy. Others believe that women who are not same level of education as the men may not find marriage partners among their countrymen and may end p marring foreigners. For such families, early marriage is best way to prevent this and at the same time preserve traditions Offorma,( 2009).

2.4       School Retention and Dropout
            In Onicha local government, the number of girls out of the school each year has risen form 20,000 in 1990 to 24,000 in 2002 Offorma, (2009). There exist wide variations across the local government presenting the worst sceneries. 

2.5       Efforts of government, non governmental/agencies and radio at encouraging girl-child education
            The Federal Governmental through the Universal Basic Education (UBE), programme, is making effort at accelerating girl-child education. The programme has made some progress increasing school enrolment for girls in Onicha (Ndeokwelu,2010). In November, 2009, the UBE commission (POWA) on child education and children with special need (Compass,2009). The United Nations children Education fund (UNICEF) has also initiated several programmes to accelerate girl-child education in the country. The “Strategy for Acceleration of Girls’ Education in Nigeria” (SAGAN) was launched by UNICEF and the federal Ministry of educating in July, 2003. SAGEN gave rise to girl child to the Grils’ Education project (GEP) launched is December, 2004 and currently under implementation. An evaluation of GEP is March, 2006 showed that Girls’ school enrolment is up by 15% and in GEP schools, actual girls attendance is up by 25% (with 12000 more girls regularly attending school than before) and gender gaps are about half of their previous level. To date, 900 schools is Nigeria are getting direct support from (UNICEF,2007).

2.6       Girl-Child Education and Radio-What Role?
            Radios are derivative agencies. They rise from particular needs within society and their types and functions reflect the diversity within that society. The principal types are public, special, academic and school studies.
            Radios are agents of social communication. They are vehicle which help to bridge the awareness gap among members of the society. Barriers to girls’ education in Nigeria have been identified as poverty, early marriage and teenage pregnancy, cultural and religious misconceptions lack of models as well as teenage pregnancy and early marriage.

2.7       The Role of Radio
            Public radios are established to provide and create access to information to all members of its community and beyond irrespective of age, sex, religions, ethnicity etc. Kargbo (2002) out lines the functions of the public radio to include:
*          To support and re-enforcing programmes of adult and fundamental education.
*          To provide effective service for children and young people including requisite services for schools.
 *         To provide much needed information and reference serves.
*          To promote and stimulate reading for pleasure and recreation.
*          To provide, here needed, adequate services for special groups, the is women, language groups, the disadvantaged etc.
            Radio programmes, help to reduce or eliminate barriers to girls-child education through public awareness campaigns. Rural dwellers, rational and religious bigots need to be educated on the ills of not sending their girls to school.
This can be done through the following services:
1.         Radio programmes could organize public rallies in various communities, speaking to the indigenes in their local dialects on the need to send their children to school. This may also involve inviting important personalities and role models to address both parents and children in the community on the importance of education.
2.         Awareness campaigns to schools, addressing girls on the need to shun easily marriage and teenage pregnancy in order to remain in school.

2.8.      The Role of the School Radio
            Some of the reasons given for girls’ dropout of school include teenage pregnancy and lack of role models. The school radio can play a role in dealing with these challenges. School radio programmes services involve both availability and accessibility of Library facilities and services to students and the willingness and ability of the students to use the facilities and services.
            The school radio programmes should carryout the following function to encourage girl-child education.
1.         It should provide specialized and individualized services to girls. This implies providing motivation aloud counseling services as for girls’, so as to awaken and sustain their interest in education.
2.         Inviting authors and subject specialists for lecturers and talks on topics of interest to girls.
3.         Organizing educative and entertaining film shows and documentaries on the ills of illiteracy and lack of education, as well as the benefits of having a good education.
4.         Inviting female celebrities who may serve as role models to talk to the girls.
5.         Work with public radios, community workers and other relevant agencies sin executing programmes geared towards encouraging girl-child education.
            However, for Radio to effectively carryout these functions, there is the need for adequate funding and willingness of libraries to be committed to the cause of the girl-child education. Public and school radio do not function in isolation, they depend on their parent organizations/institutions for financial is experiencing economic melt down. This has led to budget cuts especially in the education sector Mordi,(2008). Consequently, radio would need to seek for funds from external source sin order to execute planned programmes and ensure effective and efficient service delivery. Such external sources of funds include international and other non governmental agencies.

2.9  Issues in Girl-Child Education in Nigeria- Implication for Library and Information
            Girl-child education has become a matter of concern to stakeholder sin Nigeria. This study examines the concept of and crucial issues in girl-child education. It identifies social-cultural patterns, religious misconceptions. Poverty, teenage pregnancy and early marriage amongst others as factors militating against the girl child education. The paper advocates that public and school libraries must begin to play relevant roles and contribute to the eradication of discriminations against women. It outlines the roles public and school libraries must play in order to improve girl child enrollment in school as well as reduce school drop-out. In order to effectively play their role, the study suggests that libraries should source for funds form external agencies rather that depend only on their parent.

2.10    Nigeria’s Strategy for Girls
            Building on existing child friendly school initiative which is supported by UNICEF, Nigeria has developed the strategy for the Acceleration of Girls’ Education, which evolved. Into SAGEN+  and now being reinforced by the new Girls Education Project (GEP). This is a substantial Joint undertaking by the Federal Government of Nigeria. DFID and UNICEF to boost girls’ schooling in Northern Nigeria and accelerate progress towards the MDGs, especially with respect to gender equity.

2.11    Recent Achievements and Impact
            As a result of increasing government commitment, greater awareness has been created nationwide on girls’ education with the launch and dissemination of the SAGEN in JULY 2003 and a pledge by my ministry to mainstream girls’ education in the EFA plan.
            Some part in Onicha in Ebonyi State have already promulgated edicts to support the promotion of girls’ education for example in Eziga in Onicha Local government Area promulgated an edict against the withdrawal of girls from schools, while Oshiri and Isu have removed financial disincentives affecting girls’ enrolment in secondary schools. Those who have dropped out as result of early marriages and/or teenage pregnancy are encourage to return to school, as is the case with the women Day College in Onicha in Onicha Local Government Area.
            The effort of state government and UNICEF in promoting the girl-child education initiative (AGENT) (2002-2004) which was found by the Norwegian government, recorded remarkable progress in terms of enrolment and retention. The AGEI Evaluation Retention (GER) and 80% decrease in dropout rate for Girls’ in the (6) six plot primary schools supported by the programme. The gender gap in states that benefited from the AGEI reduced appreciate, for example Ukwawuu the gender gap fell form 41% to 38%, which AGEI ensured that more communities assumed ownership of schools, through increased vibrancy of schools mothers clubs, the tracking of school age children not enrolled in schools, advocacy for HIV/AIDs protective behaviour, and the abolition of harmful traditional practices. 
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