Due to the increasing demand for domestic staffs by the Elites in the urban areas like the FCT, Lagos and Port Harcourt just to mention but few, young girls and boys are given opportunities to make money working as domestic staffs, so they choose that option and abandon their education. Most times, depending on their ages, these monies are paid directly to their Parents or Guardians.
These parents/Guardians who are mostly concerned about the economic benefits of the child would rather send them off to work with the promise of getting trained in school instead of paying for an education in the villages. For them it is a win- win situation.
The states mostly affected are Nassarawa, Taraba, Benue, Kaduna, Bauchi and Plaetue. The security unrest in these areas has further contributed to the problem as the parents feel their children are safer away from home.
Furthermore, the schools in the rural areas are so badly managed that children do not learn in school and so it becomes of no value to them. Only a few are able to finish the universal basic education (UBE) before they abandoned their education. This factor has been a huge setback in the advancement of the girl child education.
These children first and foremost, suffer from educational neglect which is a form of child neglect, then child labor which then exposes them to a lot of violence (physical, emotional and sexual) living away from home, and their futures are uncertain.
As we all know, the parents as the guardians of these children are in a better position to make them remain in school thus, if we can change the orientation of the parents to forfeit the present gains for future benefits, they will choose to keep their children in school.
Decisions for fostering a child should always be in the best interest of the child. Also it is criminal to keep any child who is less than the age 14 at home without school. More so if there is exchange of money in would be treated as trafficking.
Households in need of domestic helps should make sure they are 18 and above. The contract should be clear and the relationship should remain professional.
Elaoje Sophie Oto
Even Charity Nigeria