This research work was carried out to investigate how promoting women education can serve as a means to eradicating child labour in Warri South L.G.A. of Delta State. It is an established fact that women education has an important role to play in eradicating the menace of child labour. In the same way five research questions were formulated to find out how promoting women education can serve as a means to eradicating child labour in Warri South L.G.A. The research instrument used was the questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to Eighty (80) respondents comprising twenty (20) illiterate women and fifteen (15) female participants each from the four (4) literacy centres all in the area of study. The Survey research design was used while stratified random sampling and Simple random Sampling were used in getting the sample for the study. Based on the data collected and interpretation, it was gathered that women education has an important role to play in eradicating child labour. However, a lot still need to be done to improve on its performance. Among the recommendations are that Government, private sectors, cooperate organizations and the non-governmental organization should embark on a campaign to educate people especially market women on the importance of educating the girl child as well as how they can contribute to ensuring the proper education of the girl child. This will go a long way in eradicating the menace of child labour.
Background to the study
One important issue of great concern to our country today, is the growing trend of child labour. The phenomenon of child labour has been in existence almost as long as the history of mankind (punch, 2014).
Child labour does not necessarily violate a child’s right, although admittedly certain jobs put children’s lives in danger. Children’s work prepares them for productive adult life. However, there have to be an equitable balance of children’s work, learning and play. If this balance is not maintained, child work becomes child labour.
Child labour has been found to be irresistibly strong in developing countries especially in regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In a UNICEF report (2000), the International labour organisation (ILO) reported that an estimate of 250 million children below 15years of age were workers in developing countries. With rapid urbanisation, there is a steady increase in the total volume of child labour in towns and cities. “Child labour is said to be on the average twice as high in the rural areas than in the urban areas possibly because of greater availability of schools in urban areas and it’s associated culture”, (punch, 2004).
In Nigeria, based on our past culture of having much children to assist the parents in farm, some parents have taken advantage of this cultural belief by making children work to earn money needed in the families. Also, due to social economic problem such as inability to feed, cloth, shelter and afford health care services, where some parents are not capable of providing some basic necessity of life for their children, they are forced to involve their children in child labour to share in the maintenance of the family by contributing to generate income needed for the family’s unkempt and hence to alleviate problems of the family’s economic burden.
The term “CHILD LABOUR” in other words generally refers to work done by children without qualifying it as light or dangerous. It can be defined as any type of paid or unpaid exploitative work, which places the effect of the beneficiary well above those of the child, and is detrimental to the physical, mental, social, educational or moral development of the child (Ogbene, 2002). Dyorough(1986) stated that child labour is any physical or mental exertion of the body undertaken wholly or in part by any person below the age of 15years with a view to some reward which could be in cash or in kind for the person or for any other person. Child labour is any work carried out by a person below the age of 15years whose interest in the work is considered secondary as well as threatens the person’s health, education and development.
According to Majasan (1974), “Education is the process by which all human beings acquire beliefs, knowledge and skills as they go through life. It goes on perceptibly an imperceptibly, formally and informally and has been regarded as the main process of transmitting the dynamic culture and socializing individuals throughout the ages”. Education is a vital instrument for social, economic, technological and political transformation and development of any society. In a seminar study, Myron Weiner(1991) accords compulsory education to the principal rule in eliminating child labour, past and present after haven interpreted historical records of child labour. The primary goal of education is to provide the beneficiaries with opportunities to acquire or develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to become useful to themselves and the society at large.
Women Education programs are types of adult and non-formal education programs specifically designed for women to make them play their roles in the society more productively. Women Education is a means of redressing the imbalance and disadvantages unjustifiably imposed on the women folks and of empowering them in their various social, economic and political role, to enable them have a sense of belonging and to contribute to national growth and development. The university village association (UNIVA) initiated the UNIVA functional literacy programme (UFLP) to promote the development of literacy and life skill among adults. This was after the massive effort made by government to raise national literacy for youths and adults alike during the period of 1995-2004, though literacy rate at that period increased from 69%-84%, that period also experienced noticeable weakness in that they were not closely linked to adults working life or their basic need for economic, social development and empowerment. Women education enables the girls and women who due to certain circumstances dropped out of the formal school system to acquire vocational training like dress making, knitting, embroidery, soap making, cream making, catering etc.
Studies reveals that there is a relationship between women education and child labour. According to OGANWU (2002), a woman’s role in the process of socialisation of the child cannot be overlooked. She trains the child to adopt primary rules. It was found that the survival of a child to become a useful and important person beyond the first year depends on the level of literacy of the mother. Therefore, to be able to have children who will transcend into productive adults in the future, we need well educated and literate women, who will be able to balance equitably the children’s work, learning and play.
Considering the nature of concerns: Women education is concerned with the improvement of human quality through knowledge and skills acquisition and participation as well. With women education, women stand the chance to empower themselves, to acquire the ability, knowledge, skills and the right attitudes that would make them more productive in the society. Hence they would be able to make intelligent decision and shun as well as prevent the practice of child labour, instead of forcing their children into works to enable them contribute in the family’s unkempt, they would see the need to send their children to school to become enlightened. Also in most occasion whereby they are able to specialize in, and practice any vocational skills, they would be able to have enough money to cater for their family and the need for the child to work extra hard to contribute to the family means of livelihood would not be necessary. Eradicating child labour has to do with putting an end to child labour.
The implication of this is that women education has to be given specific consideration. Women education in particular should be promoted as an instrument to eradicate child labour or reduce it to a minimal level.
Looking at the efforts made by government to combat child labour, the federal 2003 child right act (CRA) codifies the right of children in Nigeria which are to be ratified by each states to become law in its territory. There were no adoptions of the CRA during the reporting period. To date, 23 states and the federal capital territory have ratified the CRA, with most of the thirteen remaining states located in the northern Nigeria. The CRA states that the provision related to children in the labour applies to children under the CRA, but also that the CRA supersedes any other legislation related to children. The CRA restricts children under the age of 18 from any work aside from light work for family member; however article 59 of the labour act applies these restrictions only to children under the age of twelve. This language makes it unclear what minimum age apply for certain types of works in the country.
Some states within Nigeria have taken actions and close gaps in the law. The 2006 Abia states child’s right law prohibits all children under age 18 from engaging in domestic service outside of the home or family environment. The state government of Anambra, Bayelsa and Lagos have prohibited children from street trading during the school day.
The 2004 compulsory, Free Basic Education Act provides for free and compulsory education for children until the age of 15. The federal constitution (1999) also provides for free and compulsory education “when practicable”. While some states do offer free education, free universal compulsory education does not yet fully exist in Nigeria. School fees are often charged and the cost of school materials can be prohibitive. In addition, there is little enforcement of student attendance. As the laws providing for free and compulsory education are systematically enforced, children are more likely to enter the worse forms of child labour. Under financial strain many families will choose to send girls to work and boys to school.
In 2013, Nigeria made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and the ministry of labour and productivity (MOLP) increased the number of inspectors employed and inspections conducted. In addition, the National Poverty Eradication Program (NAPEP) launched a conditional cash transfer program that will provide funds to households under the condition that their children remain in school.
Despite Government efforts, the mandate appeared unattainable practice across the country. This has lead to the quest to investigate into promoting women education as panacea for eradicating child labour.
Statement of the Problem
Nigeria has been faced with the multiple problem of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ignorance. The proportion of child labour in our society has become alarming and there is the need to investigate as it appears that government has realised the potency of women education programs as an agent to eradicate child labour.
Many school age children are found outside the school system. The study intends to find out the extent to which women education serves as a means in eradicating child labour in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Purpose of the Study
The objective of the study include:
- To find out if there is a relationship between women education and child labour.
- To ascertain the role of women education programme in eradicating child’s labour in Warri South Local Government Area.
- To find out the perception of community dwellers of Warri South Local Government Area about child labour.
- To find out the perception of community dwellers of Warri South Local Government Area about women education.
- To find out the impact women education programmes can have made on socio-economic development in Warri South Local Government Area.
- To ascertain the factors that hinder the implementation of women education programmes in Warri South Local Government Area.
- To suggest ways by which women education programmes can improve in Warri South Local Government Area in Delta state.
- Is there any relationship between women education programmes and the eradication of child labour?
- In what ways do women education programmes help in eradicating child labour in Warri South L.G.A in Delta State?
- How do community dwellers of Warri South L.G.A in Delta State perceive women education?
- How do community dwellers of Warri South L.G.A in Delta State perceive child labour?
- What impact has women education programmes made on socio-economic development in Warri South L.G.A in Delta State?
- What are the factors that might hinder the implementation of women education programme in Warri South L.G.A in Delta State?
- In what ways can women education programmes improve in Warri South L.G.A in Delta State?
Significance of Studies
The eradication of child labour is a continuing challenge to Nigeria and more and more has to be done for it to be attained. The study provides qualitative and quantitative data on the role of women education programmes in eradicating child labour and also on this basis, it would project a clear picture on how women education can help to remedy the practice of child labour, using Warri South L.G.A of Delta State as a case study.
This study will also be of importance to all those agencies involved in the organisation of women education programmes, since the findings will expose them to the role of women education programme in eradicating child labour and also some of the factors that may hinder the implementation of the women education programme.
Similarly, this study will also be of importance to researchers/students working on related topics, as it will provide them with information on what has been done or covered and guide them in carrying out their study.
Furthermore, this study will be of great benefits the general public as findings from this research work, when implemented will help in sensitizing and mobilizing the people into participating in women education programmes and enlightening them on the need to shun the practice of child labour.
Finally, this study will also be an addition to previous work on the topic, thus, an addition to knowledge and it will help to make appropriate recommendations to Government that will bring a better and more productive society.
Scope of the study
This study is restricted to Warri South Local Government Area. This is essential to ensure a good coverage and analysis of data and because of the short time within which this study is to be completed. This research is focussed on governmental and non-governmental agencies organizing and implementing adult literacy education programmes.
Definition of Terms
Women Education: It refers to educational activities designed for women to make them play their roles in the society more productively.
Child labour:The full- time employment of children below a minimum age laid down by the law.
Panacea: It refers to a remedy to a particular situation or a means to an end.
Eradicate: It means to put an end to a particular situation.
Strategies: This is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major overall aim.
Programmes: It is a planned sequence of activities.