By Zahraddeen El-Yakub
Education is believed to be the key to success in human life. It provides knowledge and resources that hold potentials for economic empowerment, for better livelihood and social development. It is also regarded as one of the most far reaching requirements for development, poverty alleviation, and quality of life, reducing gender and social disparities and enhancing economic productivity, among many other things.
These significant roles that education play in human life, is not limited to a single gender or group of people. Both men and women are given the rights and opportunities to acquire knowledge in different fields of study, irrespective of whether they are married or not.
But nowadays, female married students face a lot of challenges when pursuing their university or tertiary education. Despite the fact that, women education matters a lot in running of a family, but some tend to ignore and stay at home due to number of challenges they are facing.
It was observed that difficulty in caring for their family members at home due to school activities was their major domestic challenge, and loaded academic work that had to be accomplished within a short time frame was their major academic challenge.
The causes of these challenges were identified as financial constraints and the performance of their marital responsibilities at home as married women. The difficulties are more complicated when a woman has children to take care of, or if they are pregnant.
Asmau Iliyasu, a female married student from the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano, whom I mate with her child crying, said she finds it difficult to combine the two tasks and she is facing challenges both at home and at school.
“I’m presently experiencing difficult challenges with my study, I often get up very early in the morning trying to get everything done at home before going to lectures, this makes me become tired and not very alert at classes” She said.
She said her performance at class is very low, which was not like that before.
“You see before I got married, my result was very good but after my marriage I could not make it like before. I cannot read at home because of my marital responsibilities and this really affects my performance, sometimes I just use some intervals between lectures to read at school and this is not enough. When it is exam time, I have to force myself to read beyond the capacity of my brain”. She said.
On the issue of her newly born child Asmau said “another problem is that of my child, he cries too much. This is giving me problem. Sometimes I have to walk out of class to breast feed him and some lecturers may even send me out because of that, and this really affects my study to the extent that I miss tests, attendance and so on. So if one doesn’t have a good C.A, how do you expect him to pass exams?”
She added that despite all the challenges, she will do everything possible to finish her study with a good result.
“Education is very important that you cannot take it for granted. Despite all these challenges I will not give up. The problems are not permanent. I’m sure one day it will turn to be a history and that’s all”.
Another female married student who spoke in condition of anonymity said she is presently pregnant and cannot perform well even at home talk less of school, “Now I’m three-month-pregnant and I don’t know what to do. Probably I don’t actually know what time to deliver. If I deliver during exam it will not be good for me”.
“I am facing a great challenge at home. My husband sometimes could not understand the situation. At times I even miss lectures due to some reasons which are barely from my husband. So it’s very difficult and challenging. But I am sure with God Almighty; everything will come to be alright. These are those normal challenges that human being cannot avoid in life” She added.
However, she promise to put more effort to see the success of her study and called on her colleague married women to be hard working in both school and at home, so that they will graduate with good result.
Mal. Abubakar S. Minjibir, a senior lecturer in Department of Mass Communication in Bayero University Kano, said he see no much difference between female married students and others as it depends on proper planning and arrangement of activities.
“I don’t think there is any much difference between students married women and the others. Over the years I have seen different students who are married and they graduated with a good result. Because as a student she has to write exams, tests and all other activities like all others. So I see no much difference, only that they need to be well planned and have intention of coping with the two assignments”.
He added that students married women must not necessarily read at home, as there are libraries and other reading rooms at school, adding that only if they fail to manage and organise, then they will experience a failure.
Minjibir further appealed to all female married students to put more effort in their studies and called on them not to rely on the challenges they are facing as a reason to their failure.
“I have seen in many instances where a married woman graduated with second class upper honours. So, you see this shouldn’t be a reason to give up, they have to put more effort to graduate with a good grade. They are human being like every other person. Provided they will attend lectures, assignments and tests, they will have no problem”. The lecturer said.
However, it can be learned that women generally face a lot of difficulties in the pursuit of their education, to the extent that some women are afraid to further their study while they are married. But that should not be a reason for them to deny being educated.
Women have a significant role to play in the smooth running of family, public affairs, politics, health sector, administration, and even in impacting knowledge among many other roles. They should therefore be given ample opportunity to study for the well being of their life and the society as a whole.
Educate women, educate the society!!!
Zahraddeen Yakubu is of the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano