The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says 67 percent of schools in eight northern states in Nigeria have no female teacher.
The UNICEF made this known in a research report it tagged “What is the effect of female teachers on girls enrollment and retention in Northern Nigeria” and presented in Abuja on Wednesday.
It said the research was conducted in eight northern states namely Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi and Taraba.
The UNICEF said there is great need for more female teachers in primary and secondary schools in the northern part of Nigeria to help address the problem of the out-of-school children in the country.
It added that at least 58,121 female teachers are required to close the gender parity gap in rural schools in the states under study.
“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’ enrolment,” the report said.
“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.”
Noel Ihebuzor, a resource person at the report presentation, said to achieve gender parity in rural communities, the federal government needs to employ more female teachers to improve access, retention and quality learning in schools.
He said teachers have a “substantial positive effect on girls educational outcome”, adding that if the quality of education is improved, it becomes an incentive for parents to send their children to school.