THEATRE IN EDUCATION AND THE GIRL CHILD IN CALABAR SOUTH, CROSS RIVER STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The girl-child is a biological female offspring from birth to 18 years of age. During this period, the young girl is totally under the care of the adult who may be parents, guardians or elder siblings. It is also a period when the girl-child is malleable, builds and develops her personality and character. She is very dependent on others on who she models her behaviour, through observation, repetition and imitation. Her physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional developments start and progress to get to the peak at the young adult stage (Sutherland, 2001). The development of any society would be grossly lopsided if the girl child is not given quality education. Education in any normal society is accepted as an instrument to power, prestige, survival, greatness and advancement for men and women. The United Nations General Assembly (2001) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates that everyone has the right to education which shall be free at least in elementary and primary stages.
Similarly, the National Policy on Education emphasizes among other things that there will be equal opportunities for all citizens. However, Osinulu (1994) lamented that the Girl Child is discriminated against in terms of education and given out to marriage early thereby denying the Girl-Child the required competences for community development. Education is a basic human right and has been recognized as such since the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. A positive correlation exists between the enrollment of girls in primary school and the gross national product and increase of life expectancy (Wikipedia, 2012). Because of this correlation, enrollment in schools represents 2 the largest component of the investment in human capital in any society. Rapid socioeconomic development of a nation has been observed to depend on the caliber of women and their education in that country. Education bestows on women a disposition for a lifelong acquisition of knowledge, values, attitudes, competence and skills. Women in Nigeria have had various challenges in order to obtain equal education. In recognition of the fact that in many countries, both developed and developing, the status of girls is significantly worse than that of boys, the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, identified the persistent discrimination against the girl child and the violation of her rights as one of the 12 critical areas of concern requiring urgent attention by governments and the international community among which is the need for increasing girl child education.
Without access to education, girls are denied the knowledge and skills needed to advance their status. By educating girls, societies stand to gain economically. In Nigeria today, the women folk have come a long way in businesses, politics, education, sports and other professions. They have made an indelible mark in their efforts to conquer the limitations of the past which have sought to place them permanently in the kitchen and bedroom. However, it is not all through a bed of roses for women and their empowerment. Majority of Nigerian women have not been fully mobilized and empowered to contribute to national development. If it had been so, we would not still be talking about good health for women, educational, economic, social, cultural and political empowerment of women.
Education is the process of providing information to an inexperienced person to help him/her develop physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, politically and economically. Education is the process through which individuals are made functional members of their society (Ocho, 2005) It is a process through which an individual acquires knowledge and realizes his/her potentialities and uses them for self-actualization, to be useful to herself and others. It is a means of preserving, transmitting and improving the culture of the society. To educate means to train the mind, character and abilities of individuals. Education is a fundamental human right that should be availed to all citizens irrespective of age, sex and nationality. There are a lot of human right instruments that provide for education as a fundamental right, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). The importance of education in the life of an individual can never be overemphasised. In both spiritual and temporal or mundane aspects of human existence, education is paramount.
It is the light that shows the way by removing the darkness of ignorance; the salt that gives the taste of life; the medicine that cures; and the key which open doors. The greatest favour one can do to himself or herself is “to get education” and to others “to give them education”. According to a Chinese proverb, education is the best legacy to give to a child because “giving your child a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The girl-child, and indeed women the world over, especially in Africa and Nigeria has had their destiny sealed from birth by tradition and culture on account of their biological sex. They have been called the weaker sex in order to justify societal discrimination and oppression against them. They must remain silent hewers of wood and drawers of water, bearers of children, and toilers of arduous labour from sun-rise to sun-down. They can be seen but not to be heard in both the private and the public spaces of decision making. The girl-child by the natural status ascribed to her by male defined norms of societal conduct and behaviour remains a property to be owned and commoditized. Consequently, her rights are circumscribed by tradition, custom, and the chauvinism of male patriarchy. No community will remain undeveloped if it has the required human capital and the best instrument for developing any society is to invest in human capital (Richardson, 2009).
This is because the acquired knowledge and skills will guarantee the economic and social liberation of the individual and by implication enhances their contributions to community and national development (Efe, 2001). Essentially, the Girl-child must be educated in terms of their role in the society, whether as Producers or Reproducers; they are mainly responsible for the care and well-being of their families, they play an important role as educators of future generations, they perform economic functions and social functions (Ballara, 2002). As more and more women are educated, the health of the nation improves. With rising education among the girl child (women), there will be also a rise of women in the labour force; women education aids in the protection of the environment and also improves agricultural practices. Thus, for society to be developed, the Girl-child must be allowed access to good and qualitative education (Ballara, 2002). Illiteracy has been the greatest cankerworm which has eaten deeply in us and devastated the implementation of various wonderful policies of developing countries. Illiteracy has a positive relationship with poverty. Unfortunately, illiteracy is highly rated among the women than men which means illiterate mothers will raise illiterate daughters who are most likely to marry early and have no access to education if their husbands do not comply. The girl child often faces discrimination from the earliest stages of life, through childhood into adulthood.
Her low status is reflected in the denial of fundamental needs and rights and in such harmful attitudes and practices as a preference for sons, early marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse, incest, and sexual exploitation, discrimination, less food and less access to education. Forty per cent of Nigerian children aged 6-11 do not attend any primary school with the Northern region recording the lowest school attendance rate in the country, particularly for girls. Despite a significant increase in net enrollment rates in recent years in Nigeria, it is estimated that about 4.7 million children of primary school age are still not in school (UNICEF Report, 2005). Consequently, efforts to boost female education have been made by governments, international organizations and NGOs. However, there is still a gender disparity in education. Oke (2000) and Oladosu (2007) demonstrated that females still have low access to education, low participation and poor performance in many subjects, especially Mathematics and Science subjects.
Many factors which are home, community and school based, continue to restrict developments in female education (Uremu, 2012). Finally several research has been carried out on challenges in theatre education and girl child education . But not even a single research has been carried out on Theatre in Education and girl child in calabar south, cross river state.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the study is to determine theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south, cross river state. Other specific objective of the study includes;
1. to determine the relationship between theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south, cross river state.
2. to determine the factors affecting theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south.
3. to determine the effect of theatre in education on the girl child in calabar south, cross river state.
4. to determine the extent to which theatre in education has affected the girl child in calabar south, cross river state.
5. to proffer possible solutions to problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the relationship between theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south, cross river state?
2 What are the factors affecting theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south?
3 What is the effect of theatre in education on the girl child in calabar south, cross river state?
4 What is the extent to which theatre in education has affected the girl child in calabar south, cross river state?
5 What are the possible solutions to problems?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: The is no significant difference between theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south.
H1 : The is a significant difference between theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on theatre in education and the girl child in calabar south, will be of immense benefit to the entire cross river state, in the sense that Education is an important tool for transformation is no longer contestable. Scholars globally view education as a vehicle for upliftment and transformation. The tranformanational capacity of education stems from its ability to inculcate values, increase individuals creative ability, galnanise individuals to act and improve their understanding. It is thus a disservice when certain individuals are nor opportuned or are excluded from these opportunities that been educated provides. However with adequate guidance, those vulnerable groups relegated by society; in this case the girl child may become aware of the need to make frantic and deliberate moves to get education. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of study and basis for further research.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on Theatre in Education and The Girl Child in calabar south is limited to cross river state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
This depicts individuals‟ involvement in formal training for the purpose of acquiring basic knowledge, skills and expertise necessary for living a meaningful and impactful life. It generally aims at the development of human abilities.
Is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors or In the modern era.
Is a biological female offspring from birth to eighteen (18) years of age. This is the age before one becomes a young adult.