‘Educate the girl-child to end child marriage’

BY: Samuel Duodu
Alhaji Haroon, the Northern Regional Director of Education
Alhaji Haroon, the Northern Regional Director of Education

The Northern Regional Director of Education, Alhaji Mohammad Haroon, says the idea that the girl- child should not go to school is a reason why child marriage is rife in the three northern regions.

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He said both girls and boys must be educated in order to enhance development in the society as they were both members of society.

Alhaji Haroon was speaking at a book launch by Adwinsa Publications Limited in Tamale.

The book, titled ‘Talata the Child Bride’ is written with the main aim of educating stakeholders, especially the girl child, on child marriage in Ghana.

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According to Alhaji Haroon "Girl child education will not only make the girl a responsible citizen but will also stop the unnecessary witchcraft accusation on women in our societies".

He advised the students to read more since reading helped in academic work.

Child marriage, a societal problem

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"There will be more development in the region and the country at large if child marriage is curbed," Alhaji Haroon stated.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Prof. Seidu Alhassan, for his part, said all Ghanaians should see child marriage as a problem and tackle it with all diligence.
He noted that counter-instructions from parents could also mislead their children.

Zero tolerance

He advised parents to see the value in their children and also prepare them for the future and not the vice versa.

He also urged all to work and make the society good and free from social vices and child marriage.

"Zero tolerance for child marriage must be initiated" he stressed.

Prof. Alhassan advised stakeholders, religious leaders and non-governmental organisations to motivate children who are already victims of child marriage to go back to school.
"Children should not only be enrolled in school but educated as well,” he added.

The Regional Programme Manager of Action Aid, Mrs Esther Boateng, said girls should not do things to push their parents to give them out for marriage.

"The parents should not be blamed entirely for child marriage but the children as well", she said.

Mrs Boateng advised girls to learn hard and to say no to boys and men who wanted to take advantage of them.

The General Manager of Adwinsa Publications Limited, Mr Oppong Amponsah, also said girls became vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases if they got married at an early age.
“Girls represent the future and the world at large,” he stressed.