By Maryam Adam Minna

Senior Academic Staff at The federal polytechnic Bida in Niger state has said that the institution is one of the leading institutions in the country that gives priority to female enrolment into academic programmes of the institution.

Mrs. Fauziyat Olayinka Gbadamasi, who is a senior lecturer with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, disclosed this in an interview with Education Monitor, adding that the institution is also doing exceptionally well in terms of  encouraging female lecturers in the institution.

Mrs. Gbadamasi said though the percentage of female staff in the institution is as low as 15%, she is optimistic that things are taking a good turn as females, both staff and students are turning up in their numbers.

“I can’t give the actual statistics or the ratio of men to women here, but we have quite a number of female senior staff, lecturers, yet we are still few compared to the male counterparts.

“The rate of female enrolment these days is encouraging compared to some years back. We have a lot of female students around. In fact there are some departments that are predominantly females. In such departments, the percentage of male students is small, because they are predominantly females. So, we have a lot of female students these days and more are still coming”, she said.

While appreciating the rate at which Nupe girls are seeking to acquire higher education in recent times, Mrs. Gbadamasi called on their parents and the public to strive hard towards encouraging them.

“There this popular saying that when you educate a woman, you educate a nation. Even some of the female staff always encourage their female students”.

Lamenting the issue of early marriage, which is predominant among Muslims and used to affect female education, Mrs. Gbadamasi applauded the courage of some parents who, against all odds, send their female children to higher institutions.

“Despite that, some parents still go out to sponsor their female children to institutions, by bringing them here, sending them to federal University, Minna, or even Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai.

“Then early marriage used to affect their education in the past, but there are a lot of changes now. There is lots of encouragement from the parents now; perhaps it could be due to the external influences as a lot of tribes have mixed up with the indigenous people here. So, they always see their friends coming from different places outside Bida to acquire education, so they want their children to go out there too to acquire this education”.

The lecturer also commended the effort of state and local governments who are playing vital roles in encouraging female school enrolment in the state by providing scholarship schemes for them.

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