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Community Attitude Towards Female Education

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Of ACADEMIC RESEARCH Vol. 3. No. 1. January, 2011, Part III COMMUNITY ATTITUDE TOWARDS FEMALE EDUCATION Dr. Saqib Shahzad , Riasat Ali , Muhammad Zaighem Qadeer , Hukamdad , Muhammad Saeed Khan Institute of Education & Research, University of Science & Technology, Bannu, 2 Project director CIEDA Ministry of Education, Islamabad 3 Department of Education, NUML Islamabad, Pakistan 4 Department of Education Hazara University, Haripur Campus Haripur, (KPK), (PAKISTAN) E-mails: [email protected] com, [email protected] com, [email protected] om, [email protected] com, [email protected] com ABSTRACT Education is basic right of each individual. Provision of educational facilities to all its masses is the obligation of society. In social perspective of the society, education is directly related to the development of the society. Females are the half population of the country. If we can not educate this youth part of our population, we can not develop our country on sound bases. The major purpose of the study was to investigate the community attitude towards female education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The main objectives of the study were: To know the views of parents about the education of girls. To investigate the attitude of community about female education. To explore the reason of girls drop out from schools. To suggest some measures for the promotion of female education. All the parents (both male and female) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhaw were treated as population of the study. Two hundred parents were selected as sample of the study using convenient sampling technique from district Bannu. Data was collected through administering the questionnaires validated through the pilot testing.

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For that purpose, the researcher himself visited homes, mohallahas and villages for the collection of data from parents (both male, female) and girl’s dropouts. Data collected through the above-mentioned research instruments was tabulated, analyzed and interpreted by using simple percentage in the light of the objectives of the study. In the light of the conclusion of the study it is recommended that there is a dire need of motivational campaign for the spread of female education, for this purpose electronic media needs to be utilized for motivating the parents to send heir daughters to school. It is also recommended that poor parents should be given stipend so they may be able to educate their daughters and to overcome the social problems. More institutions of higher education should be established for female education only. Key words: Social perspective, Community attitude, Basic right 1. INTRODUCTION The education is a basic right of each individual. Provision of educational facilities to all its masses is the obligation of society in social perspective of the society. Education is directly related to the development of the society.

Education is a process through which a nation develops its self-consciousness by developing the selfconscious of individuals who compose it. It is not a mere public instruction rather it is social institution, which provides mental, physical, ideological and moral training to the individuals of the nation so that to enable them to have full consciousness of their mission, of their purpose in the life and then to achieve that purpose (Saeed, 1987). The empowerment of women is recognized as the central issue for determining the status of women.

Among the socially disadvantages groups, women are the victim of gender discrimination and deprivation. Despite progress in implementing women’s empowered and gender equality programs in national plans, there were still a long way to go to ensure full gender equality. Any development efforts to be sustainable should pursue policies which would be helpful in eradication such discrimination and deprivation based on gender as inherent gender inequalities with in a families would fail to produce proper development of the society and hence of the country as a whole.

Women’s empowerment and gender equality are prerequisites in achieving sustainable Political, Social, Cultural, and Economic security among all individuals (Zafar, 2004). Besides the cultural prescription of gender roles, this disparity is also due to an inadequate number of vocational training and professional institutions for women. Out of around 200 professional colleges in the country, 10-15 exist exclusively for women, with the female enrolment rate half that of boys. Similarly, the gender ratio in public sector universities is recorded as 30-35%. The number of polytechnic institutes exclusively for women is also very low.

Education empowers women to take control of their lives. It provides them with greater opportunity and choice to improve their lives and that of their families. Education is the key to overcoming oppressive custom and traditions that have negated the needs of girls and women (Khan, 2007). Human resource development is only possible if males and females of the country are highly educated and skilled. But the participation rate of women in education in our country is deplorably low, which is a matter of great concern that is perhaps mainly due to socio-cultural norms of the country in general and the province of N.

W. F. P. in particular (Qureshi, 2007). Many parents have concerns for both the physical and the moral safety of their daughters in formal school environment and travel required to locations outside the home village compounds those fears. Using the local mosque as a school has been a solution which is attractive to parents. It takes into account distance, space and cost by utilizing existing buildings found in every village. The reduction of travel to and from home is a major benefit to girls whose attendance is more affected by this factor than boys.

The utilizing of religions setting in 1 1 1 2 3 4 970 | www. ijar. lit. az INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Of ACADEMIC RESEARCH Vol. 3. No. 1. January, 2011, Part III combination with the presence of an Imam as a co-teacher addresses the safety needs of girls. In Bangladesh, Kenya, Mali, and Pakistan, the Governments have supported the accreditation of these schools by introducing primary school curricula and trained teachers to supplement the religious education (Rashid, 2010). Pakistan is one of the nine most populous countries of the world.

About 50% population of Pakistan consists of females. When we compare Pakistan with other countries in labour force, in all the developed countries women labour force ranges between 40% to 50%, where as in Pakistan it is only 7%. Its main reason is deficiency in women education. KPK is the province with specific norms and taboos. Its population is about 14% of the total 135 million population of Pakistan. Females cover 50% of the population. Though women are respected high but actually they are not given the due right.

Moreover, they are facing traditional social maltreatment, poor health conditions, low education, high rate and non- recognition of their manual and income-raising work within the family. The present status of women is the result of long historical struggle against harmful social, cultural and economic variables. Issues relating to women development are complex. Islam and constitution of Pakistan not only guarantee equal rights of women and prohibit discrimination against them on the basis of sex but also provide for fuller participation of women in all spheres of national life (Afridi, 2003).

Female participation in education is higher in towns than in rural areas. Parents who send their daughters to school against prevailing customs are in a minority. Socioeconomic conditions of common man do not allow him to spare enough money for the education of their daughters. Girls have little hope of catching up with male enrolment ratios. Equal access to education for girls and boys might have proven an unattainable goal or least in the near future (Haq, 1998). Females are the half of the population of the country.

If we cannot educate this huge part of our population, we cannot develop our country on sound basis. Keeping in view the importance of female education, Ahmed (1986) says, “It is believed the major cause of lagging behind in general, in economic and social progress, in most of the developing countries, including Pakistan is absence of a higher percentage of educated and technically qualified women. Our social barriers, economic conditions and political hurdles do not promote education of the females particularly in rural areas.

The girls who are educated have very limited job opportunities; resultantly most of them can not do much of economically productive work. When parents find that time and money spent in school is only a wastage and girls as a result of it do not becoming earning hands in the family,“ The find little attraction in education. Rural women spend more or less 13 to 17 hours daily domestic work including field work while the men, unless it is sowing or harvesting seasons, take rest during the day (Jatoi, 1987).

One of the principal reasons which keeps many girls out of the school system especially in the rural areas is that they are required to work at a very young age in various domestic chores they collect firewood, fetch water from near and far, take food and water to parents in their places of work, look after their younger siblings besides being responsible for many other activities. In addition, many are compelled to work, either as paid or unpaid workers.

A substantial number of girls, in fact more girls than body’s are employed at an early age. Research on child labour has revealed that the survival of poor families after depends upon the work of their women and children. Therefore, being in school implies foregoing the opportunity to earn or foregoing opportunity to earn or help in the home. For the purpose, the immediate costs of income lost as a result are often too high (Kumar, 2000). Women are more deprived in areas with large landholding and feudal and tribal influence.

For example the status of education, measured in terms of enrolment and literacy rates, shows that districts in northern Punjab have a higher educational status then districts in southern Punjab, which has larger and agriculturally richer landholdings and consequently a much stronger feudal stronghold. In KPK, women in the tribal and more conservative districts in the north of the province have a lower status than women from other districts. Similarly, in Balochistan, district under strong tribal arrangements have a lower status as compared with others districts.

In each of these districts the overall educational status is low and the status of females is lower than males (Qureshi, 2007). Statement of the Problem. The problem under study was to find out the Community attitude towards female education in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah. Objectives of the study. The major purpose of the study was to investigate the Community attitude towards female education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The main objectives of the study were: ? To know the views of parents about the education of girls. ? To investigate the attitude of community about female education. ? To explore the reason of girls drop out from schools. To suggest some measures for the promotion of female education. Significance of the study. This study has great importance for social workers, political leaders and parents to understand the problem about female education. Moreover, recent data regarding female education was collected in this study. This study investigated the major reasons of dropout; which is very crucial issue and needs to be addressed in policy making for the future. Delimitation of the study. Due to some financial resources and time constraints the study was delimited to only 200 parents of district Bannu. B a k u , A z e r b a i j a n | 971

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Of ACADEMIC RESEARCH Vol. 3. No. 1. January, 2011, Part III Method and procedure The major purpose of the study was to investigate the Community attitude towards female education. The study was descriptive in nature. All the parents (both male and female) of the district Bannu were treated as population of the study. Two hundred parents were selected as sample of the study using convenient sampling technique from district Bannu. A questionnaire was developed for the collection of necessary data. The questionnaire was validated through pilot testing before it was administered on the sample.

Data was collected through administering the questionnaires validated through the pilot testing. For that purpose, the researcher himself visited homes, mohallahas and villages for the collection of data from parents (both male, female) and girl’s dropouts. Data collected through the above-mentioned research instruments was tabulated, analyzed and interpreted by using simple percentage in the light of the objectives of the study. The data collected on five point scales was tabulated, analyzed and interpreted in the light of objectives of the study. 2. DATA ANALYSIS. Table 1. Reasons for not sending their daughters to school.

Major Reasons Responses % School is for away 20 10% Un affordable expenses 68 34% School atmosphere 16 8% Religious constraint 44 22% Family pressure 52 26% Table No. 1 depicts that unaffordable expenses was found to be major reason for parents not sending their daughters to school. This was stated by 34% respondents. The other major factors were family pressure 26%, religious constraints 22%, school distance 10% and school atmosphere is 8%. Table 2. Causes of dropout of girls Causes Responses % She got married 70 35% poverty 80 40% Religious reasons 40 20% Curriculum is irrelevant 10 5% Table No. reflects that major reason for girls dropping out be poverty. This was stated by 40% respondents. The other factors were early marriages 35%, religious reasons 20%, and irrelevant curriculum 5%. Table 3. Views of respondents on Co-education Views Responses Agree 84 % 42% Disagree 116 % 58% Table No. 3 depicts that majority of parents that is, 58 percent were not in favour of co- education due to some social problems while 42% parents were found to be agree for co-education. Due to religious and cultural constraints majority of the respondents were not in pavour of Co- education institutions.

Table 4. Types of education Statement Responses % School/college 134 67% Religious education 46 23% Both 20 10% Table No. 4 depicts that majority of parents that is, 67 percent were interested in school education while 23 percent respondents were in favour of religious education. Majority of the respondents were in the favour of females general education but not availability of proper schools is the major hindrance in the way of female education. Table 5. Attitude of the respondents towards domestic work. Views Responses Yes 128 % 64% No 72 % 36% Table No. depicts that majority of parents that is, 64 percent needed their girls in home for domestic work. Hence it is concluded that domestic work is a problem in the way of girl’s education. 3. CONCLUSIONS On the basis of revealed findings, followings conclusions were drawn 972 | www. ijar. lit. az INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Of ACADEMIC RESEARCH Vol. 3. No. 1. January, 2011, Part III 1 All the parents were interested in education of girls but they could not do so due to poverty. 2 Majority of the parents were in favour of school/college education. 3 Major reason of girl’s dropout was poverty, marriage and religious constraints. Factors hindering female education were found to be poverty, lack of awareness or incentives, uneducated parents and early marriages. 5 Majority of the parents were in favour of allowing the females to do jobs. 6 Majority of the parents needed their girls in homes for domestic work. 7 Majority of the parents were not in favour of co- education. 4. RECOMMENDATIONS On the basis of conclusions, followings recommendations were drawn. 1 The present system of education must be changed according to the needs and requirements of the society. 2 There is dire need for motivational campaign for the spread of female education.

For that purpose electronic media needs to be utilized for motivating the parents to send their daughters to school. 3 The parents be able to realize that educated girls can generate the income for the family. 4 Early marriage of the girls should be discouraged. 5 Poor parents should be given stipends so that they might be able to educate their daughters. 6 Parents and other concerned should be informed that education is an investment. It can give return if it is completed to a certain level. 7 To overcome the social problems institutions of higher education should be established for female education only.

REFERENCES 1. 2. Afridi, A. (2003). About Pakistan Culture, http/www. Google. com. Ahmad, N. (1984). Evaluation process in education system. AIOU, Islamabad, Pakistan. Pp. 5965 3. Haq, K. (1998). Educating Girls and Women; A Moral Imperative. United Nation Children,s Fund, Education Section, Programe Dvision New York. p. 18. 4. Jatoi, H. (1987). Seminars on Critical Issues Concerning Female Education in Pakistan. Academy of Educational Planning and Management, Islamabad. P. 2. 5. Kumar, R. (2000). Women and Education. Anmol Publishing, New Dehli, India. P. 25 6. Khan, A. (2007).

Gender issues in higher education in Pakistan. Maktaba Jadeed press, Islamabad, Pakistan. p. 43. 7. Qureshi and Ravieya. (2007). Gender and education in Pakistan, Oxford University Press, London. Pp 34,35. 8. Rashid, M. (2010). Socio-Cultural Norms Leading to Gender Disparity in Female Education at University Level in NWFP. Un-published MPhil Thesis. P. 20. 9. Saeed, (1987). Secondary Education in Pakistan. National Book Foundation. Islamabad. Pakistan. p. 421. 10. Zafar, F. (2004). Gender Review of Education. UNICEF, Lahore, Pakistan. p. 54. B a k u , A z e r b a i j a n | 973

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