Guilty or Not Guilty? How Nigerian Homes Impede the Aspirations of Nigerian Girls for Higher Education

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The relatively low girls’ participation in higher education is discussed within the Nigerian society in such a way that such issues are discursively placed in often contradictory, as well as extremely complicated contexts. Dominant discussions draw on the interplay between gender and students’ performance across subjects, and as well as on the influences of the often patriarchal school environment on students’ overall performance, with little or no attention given to the agency of genealogy. This paper is an account of the stories by some Nigerian school girls of their experiences of schooling from the perspective of their homes. The larger study from which this paper is derived examined the gendered perception of schooling amongst some senior secondary school students in a Nigerian suburb. A number of discussions among the 25 girls (and also 25 boys) who participated in the study were analysed to understand how gender played into their perceptions of schooling influences upon their lives. As this project was grounded in the interpretivist qualitative research paradigm, discursive interpretivist approach was employed to interrogate how parental and domestic agencies, which I refer as genealogy in this paper, can play upon the aspirations of young girls for higher education in both complex and subtle ways. Recommendations for changes in policy and practice are made.


Keywords: Higher Education,, Girls’ Participation, Parental Agencies, Domestic Agencies
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Chinedu I. O. Okeke

Lecturer, Sociology of Education Unit
Department of Educational Foundations
Faculty of Education, University of Swaziland

Kwaluseni, Manzini, Swaziland

Chinedu Onochie Okeke (PhD) is a lecturer in the Department of Educational Foundations & Management, University of Swaziland. He specializes in Sociology of Education and Qualitative Research methods and has been teaching foundation courses to both the under- and postgraduate students in the Department of Educational Foundations. His interest in qualitative research culminated in a PhD thesis, which triangulated various qualitative methods in a demonstration study. He also holds a Masters degree in Educational Studies of the London Metropolitan University and has published a number of international papers on the conduct of research within the Nigerian research tradition, qualitative research and sociology of education.

Ref: L09P0496