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Pupils call for removal of barriers to girl-child development

BY: Samuel Doudu

Basic school pupils in the West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region have petitioned chiefs and the district chief executive (DCE) for the area to help remove all barriers that hinder their education, especially that of the girl-child.

The children also requested chiefs and the district assembly to ensure that early and forced marriages among girls of school-age are stopped while community members who take advantage of the vulnerability of the girl-child to impregnate her were severely punished to serve as a deterrent to others.

The children, in their petition, also pleaded with traditional authorities to exercise their powers to help curb the high incidence of early and forced marriages among girls in the districts and impressed on parents to also stop their children from migrating to the southern part of the country to work as female porters, popularly known as kayayei.

Petition

The children presented the petition to the DCE for the area, Mr David Wuni, at a community durbar of all stakeholders in education held at Walewale, the West Mamprusi District capital, last Thursday.


The durbar, on the theme: ‘’The relevance and challenges of girls education - the role of key stakeholders,” was organised by the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and the Integrated Social Development (ISODEC), both non-governmental organisations (NGOs), working to promote quality basic education in the West Mamprusi and Yagba-Manduri districts in the Northern Region, in collaboration with the West Mamprusi District Education Directorate.

It was aimed at developing strategies to  help address the falling standards of education in the district and also to remove all barriers that militate against the enrolment, retention and completion of basic education of girls and children with disability in the district to enable them to climb the educational ladder.

The children also appealed to the assembly to gazette and enforce all bye-laws on obstacles that hinder girls education in the district and support the NGOs to ensure that girls and children with disability are enrolled in schools and also complete successfully.

Receiving the petition on behalf of the assembly, the DCE also appealed to religious and traditional leaders to support the efforts aimed at implementing the bye-laws to remove all such barriers. 

Mr Wuni, who is also the chairman of the District Education Oversight Committee (DEOC), added that the factors militating against the education of girls and children with disability in the area needed a holistic approach. 

Stakeholders

The Gubulg-Lana, Salifu Mahama Tampurie, who is also an elder at the palace of the Nayiri, the Paramount Chief of the Mamprusi Traditional Area, on behalf of the chiefs, disclosed that the traditional council had banned children from attending discos after certain hours in the night and also pledged the support of the chiefs to assist the assembly to implement the bye-laws.

The West Mamprusi District Director of Education, Haja Muse Sulemana, expressed concern over the high drop-out rate among girls in the area and called on parents not to shirk their responsibilities towards their daughters for them not to fall prey to some unscrupulous men who would take advantage of them to impregnate them to truncate their education.

The Programmes Coordinator of ISODEC, Madam Agnes Ganda, called on all stakeholders in education in the district to collaborate with her organisation and VSO to help address the low enrolment, retention and completion of school by girls and children with disability in the district.