Increasing Female School Enrollment in Nigeria: Some Policy Options

This brief examines two policy alternatives which government can adopt in order to increase the enrollment of girls in the primary school and also help eliminate gender disparity in Nigerian schools: Provide free primary education with Stipends or provide free primary education with Transportation.

Publication Date: December, 2012

Volume Number: 1 Issue 8

Document Size: 4 pages

The last two decades have witnessed an outpouring of policies aimed at increasing school enrollment in Nigeria, yet problems still persist. Evidence on what works and what does not can help government design and implement programs that may help solve these remaining problems. In line with promoting evidence based policymaking, this policy brief presents a summary of simulation study of two (2) policy alternatives, which the federal government can adopt in order to increase enrollment of girls in the primary schools, and by extension eliminate gender disparity.

The results reveal that providing free primary education for all pupils with stipends for girls saves government more money relative to its effectiveness than providing free primary education for all pupils with transportation for girls. Therefore, for the Nigerian government to increase female school enrollment, reduce illiteracy rate and achieve the MDG Goal 3 of gender equality, the existing policy of free primary education should be complemented with free transportation for girls in the high pedestrian traffic urban areas and with free stipends in the low income rural areas.