Despite better WASSCE results, fewer females admitted to tertiary institutions – Report

Despite doing better than their male counterparts in the secondary school leaving certificate examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, the National Examinations Council, NECO among others, fewer females are able to secure admission to tertiary institutions in the country, a report by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has revealed.

The recently-released report, titled “2021 women and men in Nigeria statistical report,” looked at the years 2018-2020 and found out that more female students were able to secure more passes at credit level in at least five subjects including English Language and Mathematics, the required qualifications for admission, but were still fewer in number regarding those who enrolled for higher education. 

According to data obtained from NECO, in 2018, 1,036,644 candidates sat for the June/July exam out of which 588, 477 were males and 450,167 were females, but 74.65% of the females passed with five credits and above including English and Mathematics, while 69.06% males did same.

In 2019, 643,462 males sat for the exam and 515,484 females also did, but 74.21% females passed, while 69.51 males did.

The trend was the same in 2020 when 76.72% of the females passed as compared to 71.55% males 

In the WASSCE conducted by WAEC in May/June 2018, when 1,571,536 wrote the exam, 51.01% females passed compared to 45.55% of the male candidates. 

In 2019 when 1,590,107 sat for the exam, 64.45% females passed, while 62,43% males did.

In 2020, 1,538,340 candidates wrote the exam and 67.35% females passed as compared to 64.16% males. 

The same situation was the same in the examinations conducted by the National Business and Technical Examination Board, NABTEB, in the years under review.

However, regarding admission to tertiary institutions, of the 1,653,127 candidates who wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME, conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, in 2018, 582,593 were offered admission and only 43.82% were females.

In 2019, 1,886,488 wrote the exam and 608,859 admitted with 43.46% being females.

Even for education courses that many see as a field for the female folks, the NBS report said that female enrolment in Colleges of Education owned by the federal government, state governments and private concerns, in 2017/18 session, the percentages of females in those colleges were 32.43% for federal, 30.37% for state and 35.14% for private ones. 

As for enrolment in some specific courses, the report indicated that in 2019, female enrolment into Engineering and Technology was 12.06% as against 87.4% for males. For Sciences, 27.6% females enrolled, as against 72.4% males.

However, for Basic Medical and Health Sciences, more women, 58.05% females enrolled as against 41.95% for men. 

For academic and non-academic staff in Nigerian universities, based on the data from the National Universities Commission, NUC, the report said as at 2019, female lecturers accounted for 23.66%, while they were 37.04% of the non-academic staff.

The breakdown showed that in the year under review, there were 10,075 male professors, compared to 1,802 female ones in Nigerian universities.

The other categories are: Readers – 4,774 males, 1,262 females; Senior Lecturers – 11,185 males, 3,329 females and Lecturer 1 and Above – 30,029 males and 10,987 females.


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