Climate variability and the dichotomy in male-female school attendance: a case study of Zamfara State in semi-arid Nigeria

Adejuwon, Joseph O.

Année de publication
This study examines the response of male and female school attendance to climate in Zamfara State, Nigeria from 1970 to 2006. Bivariate (Spearman) correlation, pairwise t‐test, standardised anomaly index and descriptive statistics were used to analyse climate, school enrolment and attendance data. Results showed that 71.52% of males and 28.48% of females attended school. The male pupil population was larger than the female pupil population at all schools, while the female dropout rate was greater than that of males at seven schools. Male attendance was highest at Township 1 Special Model Primary School, Gusau, and female attendance was highest at A Tunalim Primary School, Talata‐Mafara, while both were lowest at Wuya Model Primary School, Anka. Male school attendance and its total varied by school, from 30 to 3430 pupils, and the rate of attendance varied between 53.17 and 92.26%; female attendance varied between 4 and 1570 pupils. Both male and female pupils recorded low attendance and high dropout rates in drought years. The total annual dropout of male pupils at each school varied from 1 to 200, with a rate of between 36.26 and 81.53%, while annual female dropout varied from 1 to 100, with a rate of between 18.47 and 63.74%. The total dropout rate of the whole school population was 2.75% (1.62% male and 1.13% female); 58.79% of students who dropped out were male and 41.21% were female, accounting for 2.26% of the male and 3.97% of the female school population. Temperature showed no significant correlation with attendance. Rainfall had a more significant relationship with school attendance for male pupils than female pupils at P ≤ 0.05. The extent to which rainfall significantly determined school attendance varied from 14.82 to 25.91%. A pairwise t‐test showed a significant difference between male and female pupils' school attendance at all schools. This study concludes that climate affected male pupils more than female pupils.

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