Education Project Topics

Analyzing the Effect of Kidnapping on the Educational and Emotional Development of a Girl Child




Background of the study

The term kidnapping can be traced back to the 17th century United Kingdom, where infants “kids” of wealthy families were “napped” while at sleep for ransom (Tzanelli, 2006; Ibrahim & Mukhtar, 2007). As such, it is a criminally induced behavior that is not entirely a new societal challenge. Kidnapping can be defined as the process of abducting an individual or group of individuals with a view to achieving a desired objective (Ngwama, 2014). According to Fage & Alabi (2017) it involves the application of force to take human beings as hostages to achieve a particular aim. Furthermore, it can be defined as the act of forcefully seizing and detaining an individual by unwanted act on the part of the victim. Proponents have highlighted that the Kidnapping can originate from the need to agitate for economic empowerment, human and environmental right, political liberty, terrorist intent. In the Niger-delta region for instance, kidnapping was targeted at foreigners from European, American, and Asian countries to raise awareness on the economic and environment conditions of the region (Ani & Nweke, 2014). However, kidnapping may be engineered by groups agitating for political liberty such as the FARC rebel group of Columbia (Rubio, 2004). Kidnapping can also be induced by terroristic intent which can be seen in the kidnap of the school girls in Chibok town on the 14th April, 2014 by members of Boko Haram. Scholars have highlighted that, no matter the intentions of the kidnappers, the terror impact on their victims cannot be overlooked (Ene, 2018). Furthermore, these kidnapping used to generate awareness of the Nigerian government and the world to the environmental impact of oil exploration on the region soon became used for financial exploitation (Ani & Nweke, 2014). According to a former Inspector General of Police in Nigeria, an estimated 100 million USD was paid as ransom to abductors between 2006 and 2009 (Ene, 2018) showing a worrisome rise in the level of kidnapping in the country. This therefore highlights the level of decay present in today’s society and the consequent impact it has on every aspect of the society particularly the girl-child.

Over the years, scholars have continued to debate on the concept of the girl child. With gender equality being advocated by international and domestic bodies, the girl-child can be described as a female child who is under the supervision of adults who may be her relations, parents or guardians (Offorma, 2009). They are biological female off springs that are between the ages of 0 and 18 years. In essence, the period that includes their infancy “0-5” years as well as their early (6-12 years) and late adolescent (12-18 years) phases of development respectively (Ponte, 2006). They are at this stage of development easily impressionable by their environment and the adults around them, they therefore model their attitude around the observations they visualize in their everyday life consequently impacting and shaping their emotional and mental development (Atama, 2012; Kobani & Nkpolu, 2014).The girl-child thus is a young female who would eventually grow into a woman and marry and as such they are conditioned to fend after the young ones at home and take up the responsibility of preparing dishes (Onyido & Osigwe, 2017). Women are therefore responsible for 50-60 percent of the processes that are involved in the processing of food, livestock farming, industrial processing and production. As such, their impact on the development of any country if empowered must be taken into account. This

development however, will not be complete if the quality of education is sub-standard or affected by challenges such as insecurity, failure to provide infrastructures by government or natural disasters. Insecurity has been identified as a significant challenge to the development of any society as a result of its inherent impact on educational sector and the society at large. As such, its impact on the educational sector must therefore be critically analyzed.

The importance of education in societal development cannot be overemphasized. No country can meet its true potential if the educational sector is not developed. It is an essential tool in ensuring the acquisition of power, prestige, greatness as well as survival of the human race. It is the foundation for nation building (Oyitso & Olumukoro, 2012).


Education can therefore be defined as the process of developing an individual’s mental, social, emotional, spiritual and political intelligence through the provision of requisite information and circumstances that enables this (Kobani & Nkpolu, 2014). According to Ocho & Nwangwu (2005) education is the procedure an individual undergoes that make them relevant to the society. Another school of thought proposes that education is the process that sees an individual acquire relevant skills and competencies that enable them actualize their true potentials and reach self-actualization (Onyido & Osigwe, 2017). Bulut & Bars (2013) postulates that it aids in the preservation, transmission and enhancing cultures across societies. As the Nigerian society struggles to grasp with the realities of kidnapping, the horrors of the kidnap of school girls remain fresh in the minds of the populace. The case of Leah Shaibu is one of the continuous reminders of the dangers and impact of girl-child kidnapping in Nigeria. This according to Bakwai et al (2014) has seen parents preferring to have their children uneducated than kidnapped or dead. This potential contributes to the over 6 million girls presently out of school (Obahopo & Arenyeka, 2014). Murray-Bruce (2013) opines that the falling levels of education can be linked to the insecurity in the country. According to Sanni (2015) the north-east region has been greatly affected by suicide bombing, kidnapping and attacks by militant groups particularly the boko haram group and this is responsible for the north-east part of Nigeria recording the highest levels of girl child illiteracy in the country. According to Buba (2015) the children who are kidnapped are subjected to emotional trauma such as rape, child marriage, slavery and torture. The children are also used as human shield and suicide bombers (Sanni, 2015) These frequent kidnapping of schools girls has seen the attendance in schools across the country drop as a result of fear of such events (Ovuorie, 2015). According to Olugbode (2015)children now live in perpetual fear. Historically, however participation in education in the northern part of Nigeria has been lower than the southern parts of Nigeria and this can be attributed to a number of reasons such as religion, culture and the perception that the western influenced education is contrary to the Islamic beliefs (Okobiah, 2002). This has been worsened by the increasing case of girl-child kidnapping in the region. It can therefore be deduced that the resultant effect of kidnapping on the education of the girlchild include low turn-out as well as increasing numbers of illiterates thereby limiting their possible contribution to societal, economic and political growth.

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 Statement of research problem

With the realities of kidnapping, the horrors of the kidnap of school girls remain fresh in the minds of the populace. The case of Leah Shaibu is one of the continuous reminders of the dangers and emotional impact of girl-child kidnapping in Nigeria.however , the harsh reality on ground remains that parent who want their  girls to attend schools are now scared to send them there for fear of kidnapping . girls  who are interested in school can no longer attend for fear of been kidnapped also. This has affected the emotional and educational  state of the girls both the one kidnapped and the one that has not been kidnapped  are now and if this trend is allowed to continue there will be low turn out of girls at school which literally means girls will not get access to education for fear of been kidnapped which in turn will have effect on the economic and political development of the country.( T. Duyile, 2021)

 Objectives of the study

The primary objective of this study is as follows:

1.     To find out the reasons why girls are been kidnapped

2.     To find out the effect of kidnapping on the emotional well-being of a girl child

3.     To find out the effect of kidnapping on the educational development of a girl child

4.     To find out ways of helping kidnapped girls to come out of the trauma.

5.     To proffer possible solutions to curbing female kidnapping in the society.

 Research questions

1.     What are the reasons why girls are been kidnapped?

2.     What are the effects of kidnapping on the emotional well-being of a girl child?

3.     What are the effect of kidnapping on the educational development of a girl child?

4.     What are the ways of helping kidnapped girls to come out of the trauma?

5.     What are the possible solutions to curbing female kidnapping in the society?

 Significance of the study

This study will lay emphasis on the effect of  kidnapping on the educational and emotional development of a girl child.

The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to government organizations, NGO,state government  , ministry of education, individuals, and academia

 Scope of the study

This study intends to examine the effect of  kidnapping on the educational and emotional development of a girl child . Hence,  this study is delimited to some selected secondary schools in Zamfara state.

 Limitations of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

Financial constraint is inevitable considering the present economic situations. Due to lack of finance at the researchers disposal to get materials and in printing of questionnaires. it was not possible to visit some of the police stations and some of the victims of corruption.

In developing countries like Nigeria, there is the problem of insufficient data.

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

Operational definition of terms

Analyze:examine (something) methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it.

Effect:a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Kidnapping: the action of abducting someone and holding them captive.

Education: the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.

Emotional development:  involves learning what feelings and emotions are, understanding how and why they occur, recognising your own feelings and those of others, and developing effective ways for managing those feelings.

Girl child: a young female child



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