1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The chasing of education beyond the formal school years among women may be associated with the need to fulfill one’s potential and the pursuit of lifelong learning could provide a means of promoting socio-economic well-being of women.
The importance of education in the early and compulsory years of life is well recited aloud, but not everyone’s experience of the school system is positive or rewarding. Lifelong learning has the capacity to confront and address this unsmiling problem given the right conditions in adult life.
Delors’ (1996) broadly defined lifelong learning as learning that is pursued throughout life: learning that is flexible, diverse and available at different times and in different places. Lifelong learning crosses sectors, promoting learning beyond traditional schooling and throughout adult life (ie post-compulsory education).
The influence of lifelong learning on socio-economic wellbeing and personal development of women have been of great interest to researchers. Lifelong learning grows learner confidence and self-esteem, nurtures their ability to create support networks.
Howbeit, participation in lifelong learning also has a downside and negative effect. For some people, in some circumstances, learning can be associated with stress and anxiety, and erode factors that have helped people maintain good mental health.
Where education becomes a function of socio-economic well-being, especially beyond compulsory educational years, this has implications for the changing educational needs of individuals throughout the life course.
Overtime, the socio economic advancement of women in Nigeria may not have been given adequate attention by previous governments. In every society, women should be empowered, not just for the improvement of their wellbeing but for the socio economic development of the nation. This is because just like the saying goes “if you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. Countries that have been successful overtime have placed more emphasis on the education of women in other for them to be self-reliant.
Education has in the past played a prominent role in the empowerment of both men and women. Education which happens to be a life time event has been an emancipator from poverty and has grossly improved the wellbeing of people who have found it worthwhile.
Education provides a foundation for eradicating poverty and fostering economic development. It is the groundwork on which much of economic and social well-being of the citizens is built. Education is the key to increasing economic efficiency and social consistency, by increasing the value and efficiency of the labour force and consequently raises the poor from poverty. Education increases the overall productivity and intellectual flexibility of the labour force and ensures that a country is competitive in world market now characterized by changing technologies and production methods. According to Roberts (2011), the primary determinants of a country’s standard of living is how well it succeeds in developing and utilizing the skills and knowledge, and furthering the health and educating the majority of its population. No country has achieved constant economic development without considerable investment in education and human capital (Ozturk, 2011) many researchers have shown handsome returns to various forms of human capital accumulation basic education, research, training and aptitude building (Denison, 2008, Bowman 2010). Unequal education tends to have a negative impact on per capita income and thereby increase poverty in many countries. Educating girls and women is probably the single most effective investment a developing country like Nigeria can make, whether or not women work outside the home. It creates a multitude of positive remunerations for families including better family health and nutrition, improved birth spacing lower infant and child mortality, and enhanced educational attainment of children. In order for a country to be adequately integrated in worlds market for manufactured goods, and compete in these markets and in globalizing service markets will depend on the excellence of human capital they bring to the competition. Ensuring that all citizens are educated and numerate, that many possess a wide range of problem solving skills beyond the basic level, and that some have world class professional skill will be an advantage.
Attempts to address the employment needs as well as the problems of poverty, illiteracy, gender related issues, occupational and vocational skills acquisition for economic self-reliance of women in nigeria has been slightly successful. Agencies established to address these problems included the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Better Life for Rural Women, Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), Agencies for Adult and Non-formal Education, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) (Akintayo and Oghenekohwo 2004; Akanji 2008). These agencies have undertaken to ensure the formal and non-formal training education of women skills acquisition through work-oriented functional literacy.
The essence of these learning programmes for women is yet to be felt at both individual and community levels especially in oyo state. This is due to the apparent poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and general underdevelopment of rural women in the area.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
Lifelong learning improves the socio economic status of women in Nigeria when adequately and effectively deployed. This therefore means that the absence of learning or education can be devastating for the female race especially in the West African sub-region. Lack of adequate education/learning for women in Nigeria has led to under performance of women in all sectors of the economy and this might have widened the gap in the fight against gender inequality. The present low socio economic status of women in Nigeria has seen women face untold hardship and discrimination as a result and this has also led to all sorts of violence against women in Nigeria. The specific case of indiscriminate harassment of women which has metamorphosed to violence has regrettably been on the increase in Nigeria in recent times.
1.3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine lifelong learning and its impact or effect on the socio economic wellbeing of women in Nigeria and Oyo state in particular. Specific objectives of the study include:
1. To examine the relationship between the socio economic status and violence against women in Oyo state.
2. To examine the literacy level of women in Oyo state.
3. To determine the relationship between literacy level of women and their ambition.
4. To identify the factors militating against learning in women in Oyo state.
5. To identify the role played by women in the economic development of Nigeria.
6. To suggest ways of improving effective lifelong learning in women in Oyo state.
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In other to achieve the targeted objectives of the study, the following research questions were formulated to guide the study;
1. What is the impact of long life learning on the socio economic wellbeing of women in Oyo state?
2. What is the relationship between socio economic status of women and violence against women?
3. What is the literacy level of women in Oyo state?
4. What is the relationship between the literacy level of women and their ambition?
5. What are the factors militating against the effective learning in women in Oyo state?
6. What are the roles played by women in the socio economic development of Nigeria and Oyo state in particular?
7. What are the other reasons of low socio economic status of women in Oyo state?
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: lifelong learning does not significantly influence the socio economic wellbeing of women in Oyo state.
H0: there is no significant relationship between the socio economic status of women and the violence against women in Oyo state
H0: there is no significant relationship between the socio economic status of women and their ambition
H0: the literacy level of women in Oyo state is low
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would be of immense importance to non-governmental organizations that are interested in the fight against violence against women and gender inequality in Nigeria. The findings from the study would greatly benefit the government in that it would highlight the importance of learning to the improvement of the socio economic wellbeing of women in Nigeria. Finally, this study would be beneficial to students and researchers who are interested in the influence of lifelong learning/education on the socio economic advancement of women in Nigeria.
1.7. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to the influence of lifelong learning on the socio economic wellbeing of women in Oyo state, Nigeria