Background of the study:

Education is a process of teaching training and learning especially in schools or colleges, top improve knowledge and develop skills. (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary 2006th edition). Globally education has been identified and considered to be a vital tool for any form of development, economic, social or political and also a determinant of the level of prosperity, welfare, sustenance and security of the people. The national policy on education (2004) sees education as a dynamic instrument per excellence for affecting national development and potential means for ensuring the welfare of the people and the equalization of life chances. The needs, aspirations, cultural heritage and the environment of any society determine to a large extent the kind of knowledge and the skills to be acquired.

Socially, education brings about general enlightenment, occupation preparation, selection and development of self concept.

No wonder Euripides quoted in Okeke (2004) opined that: who so neglect learning in his youth losses the past and is dead for the future”. Also quoted from the same source is a dictum propounded by Kuan Chung Tzu (Chinese) which states that “if you wish to plan for a year, sow seeds, if you wish to plan for ten years, plants trees, if you wish to plan for life time, develop men. (tell magazine, August 23, 1999-22).

       A renowned Nigerian educationist and one time minister of Education, Prof. A. Babs Fafunwa defined education as “an aggregate of all the process by means of which a person develops abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour of positive value in the society in which he lives” Fafunwa (2004) Education is a desirable change in behaviour, a development of character and manful powers resulting from systematic training and instruction.

    Education in Nigeria was mainly vocational before British intervention in the later part of the Nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century.  An important function of education in these days was living by becoming expert producers of goods or services. Young men acquired the rudiments of an occupation from their parents or from expert Craftsmen to whom they were apprenticed (Mkpozi 2008).

    According to Ozochi (2008), the apprenticeship system appears to be very unique in African Education. This is a solution where children in the society see, Observe and imitates the elderly ones doing their own things- farming hunting, fishing etc. there is no formalized syllabus in the apprenticeship system in Nigerian society. The same thing goes to the study of domestic economics in the case of the education of the female. They learn by observation and imitation as they watch their mothers cook and manage the house.

     In Nigeria, before the advent of the white men, apprenticeship system existed in all known crafts. In the case of Book- keeping, an experienced book-keeper would take on   assistant and train him on the job.

 Gradually, more book-keepers were needed the increase in the number and size of businesses, besides the introduction of taxation and government registrations. This make it` possible for the private business schools to flourish as they provided essential vocational turning for business occupational (Igboke; 2008).

    Also Igboke (2008) stated that in the later part of the 19th century, private business schools (commercial schools) as they are popularly called had a virtual Monopoly in training the skilled employees needed by all types of business organization and government offices. In deed many of the successful business executives of the early 1900’s were graduates of private businesses schools. Prior to Nigerian civil war, these private business schools existed in all parts of the country for the training of youths and adults for secretarial and clerical duties.  When the government took over schools in 1971, most of the business schools were merged with.  Secondary grammar schools. There was an emergent shift in emphasis and orientation towards a more functional approach to secondary education that better fulfils the socio-economic needs of the nation.

      With the introduction of the 6-3-3-4 system if Education in Nigeria, greater emphasis has been placed on business education. The emphasis covers pre- vocational business education known as business studies in the junior secondary and vocational business subjects such as short hand, typewriting, Book-keeping and Accounts and commerce in senior secondary schools.

  Business education means many things to many people. Some people think that business education refers to those business subjects taught at the secondary school level such as typewriting, shorthand, Book-keeping, business law, and similar other subjects.

However, Igboke (2008) sees business education as that aspect of the total educational programme that provides the knowledge, skills understanding and attitudes needed to perform in the business world as a producer and / or consumer of goods and services that business offers. The recommended business Education courses include: accounting and computing occupations, business Data processing system, stenographic, secretarial and related occupations, supervisory and Administrative management Occupations (Igboke 2008).

    Agu (2009) stated “Disparity in male /female enrolment in education generally dates back to time. In Nigeria before the arrival of the whit man and his kind of Education parents usually enroll their female children to learn how to weave clothes plan hair, or how to make tie and die while their male counterparts (the boys) will be enrolled to learn such trades as blacksmith, sculpture, wood work carving or even palm wine tapping.

   At that time however, boy’s were more favoured to be enrolled by parents for trade learning as girls were regarded as (Nwanyi onye Ozo) i.e. belonging to another. Community as they are usually married out.

The means that man and the community that married a girl will be the beneficially of the girls training.

   In the same vein Agu (2009) opined that with western education, this trend continued with more boys being enrolled by parents to acquire western education than girls. In all the disciplines and courses, boys outnumbered their female counterpart.

          In some parts of Nigeria, like the Northern region, this case of disparity is still prevalent while in the southern region we south- west, south- east, and south-south, there has been a significant shifts in the trend. In support of this views, Ani (2008) asserted that, the enrolment of girls in primary, post-primary and tertiary institutions however, girls outnumbered their male counterpart in some particular courses such as teacher Education, health professions, Hospitality management, office system and administration for instance in 2008/2009 admission into the Technical Teacher Certificate (TTC) programme of the Enugu State College of Education (Technical) Enugu, the ratio of enrolment is 10 male to 25 female in business Education courses while the whole class shows that  the male are outnumbered by the females by 24 males to 33 females.

 In colleges of Education females account for 55% of total enrolment. This slight advantage at the lower levels of the teaching profession is not replicated at the University level, However, where only 12.4% of the academic staff are women. (Munzali 2003).


For a myriad of reasons, man and woman have been socialized to believe that certain courses of study and careers are only for a certain gender. Society has compounded the issues by providing a salary scale that supports this point of view. Some teach that women do not have brain to become scientists or mathematicians and men are not good nurturers or care-givers. This is why female teachers are overly represented in the Elementary schools and in Engineering males are overly represented (Barrington 2003).

          It is noted that there is wide gender gap in school enrollment especially in elementary schools. However, the disparity still exists at all levels and significantly at secondary and tertiary levels. A number of factors cause this gender gap between the sexes. One important school related factor is the unavailability of female teacher that serve girls as role models and mentors.

          The association of girl’s enrolment to the availability of female teachers is demonstrated in a number of studies. Female teachers enhance the gender parity in school (NNESCO 2008).

          The inability of the government to close the gender gap prevailing in school enrollment and the gender disparity seen in the education of teachers in designing policies or reviewing existing policies.

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Updated: 12th April 2020 — 1:37 pm