Importance of Girl-Child Education in Nigeria

The education of the girl-child is of immense benefit to the individual, her family, community and the country at large. Educating the girl-child presents her with the necessary skills and information to improve her capabilities and thus serve as a catalyst for sustainable development. This article will focus on the importance of girl-child education in Nigeria.

Importance of Girl-Child Education in Nigeria

The importance of girl-child education in Nigeria will be addressed below:

  • Boosts Socioeconomic Growth

A significant function of the education of the girl-child in Nigeria is that it offers her the opportunity to chart her destiny with the skills and information she’s acquired. From basic education up to tertiary education, the girl-child is provided with diverse basic knowledge and skills, and training which contributes to national development. An educated girl-child grows into a literate woman who has a greater chance of breaking the cycle of poverty, being more productive, and boosting the standard of living for herself, her children and family, as well as the society at large.

Education offers the girl-child the necessary skills and information needed to excel in a chosen career path. Hence, a girl who is educated can grow to become a teacher, architect, doctor, computer scientist, lawyer and pharmacist, among other things.

  • Reduces Child Marriage

In some parts of the country, particularly the northern part of Nigeria, young girls are usually married off as young children, as young as 9 years in some cases. In most cases than not, this usually leads to the girl stopping her education. And, the lack of education impacts negatively on the girl as she grows up to be an illiterate young mother that lacks the needed skills to be a better parent, worker, and citizen.

Typically, it takes years for a child to receive basic, post-basic, and tertiary education in Nigeria. For a girl-child to have obtained basic and post-basic education in Nigeria, she would have reached 18 years of age. Acquiring tertiary education also takes an average of 4 years. So, the period a girl spends obtaining education typically means she will marry later when she’s grown and able to bear and take care of her children. As an educated woman, her children and immediate family, including the society, will feel the positive impact of her education.

  • Aids in Controlling Population Explosion

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with over 200 million people. Effects of overpopulation have adverse effects on the country as well as the family unit. A rise in unemployment, malnutrition, and degradation of the environment and natural resources, including the high cost of living, are among the effects of the population explosion. On the other hand, an overpopulated household usually experiences strains on income, and lack of access to better health care, among other things.

A proven method to curb population explosion in Nigeria is ensuring that the girl-child is educated. As explained earlier in the article, an educated girl-child typically delays marriage and child-bearing until she’s able to sufficiently care for her children. Several studies show that the higher levels of a woman’s educational attainment are negatively correlated with the number of children she bears. This stems from the information available to the educated woman on birth control and family planning, as well as the knowledge that few children mean more resources per child.

  • Increases Female Participation in Politics

Though the number of women in the Nigerian political sphere still lags when compared with the men, education has played an important part in increasing female participation in politics and related endeavours. In Nigeria, numerous women have been able to serve and still serve the country in positions of legislators, government ministers, senators and other political positions. Some of the notable female politicians include Remi Tinubu, Aisha Abubakar, Kemi Adeosun, Abike Dabiri, Haja Afsatu, Kema Chikwe, Maryam Ciroma, Late Dora Akunyuli, Zainab Ahmed, Rita Akpan, Oby Ezekwelisi, Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala and Grace Bent, among other. A common trait these women have is that they all attained higher levels of education. The skills these women acquired during their educational journey were crucial in the effective discharge of their responsibilities in their positions.

Though female participation in Nigeria is not at the point where it ought to be, it can be resolved with the education of the girl-child. When there is an increase in the education of the girl-child in Nigeria, it increases the likelihood of greater female participation in politics in Nigeria.

  • Increases Productivity at Work

Right from her enrollment in basic education, the girl-child is provided with diverse basic knowledge which is needed for entrepreneurship, wealth generation and educational advancement. In addition, if she proceeds to obtain a higher level of education, she will receive high-level training which will enable her to contribute to national development. These skills that the girl-child acquires from her education will enable her to be more productive at work, and be better paid. Educational investment in the girl child surely increases her future earnings considerably.

  • Reduces Infant Mortality Rate


The children of illiterate mothers are more likely to die from preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough, poliovirus, tetanus, and others. For instance, in rural areas, some illiterate mothers do not allow their children to receive immunization vaccines as when due, which in turn poses suffering and a financial burden on the children and the family. On the other hand, educated mothers are more aware of diseases and the preventive measures to avert such diseases. So, the higher the level of education of a mother, the less likely for her child to die in infancy.

  • Contribution to the Education of Coming Generations

A popular African adage says, “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family – and a whole nation”.  The value of girl education accrues from one generation to another. In this regard, if a girl-child receives an education, she knows first-hand the benefits it brings. So, when she grows and becomes a mother, she is likely to ensure that her kids also receive an education.

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