Child marriages disrupting girls’ education - Headmaster
The Headmaster of the Jato Zongo local Anglican Primary and Junior High School in the Atebubu-Amanten District of the Brong-Ahafo Region has said child-marriages was seriously affecting girls enrolment in schools in the area.
Mr James Manu said many girls below 13 years in the area were out of school because they were lured into such marriages and that the school has just recorded two such cases.
He said the girls are given out to marry mostly men between the ages of 40 and 60 years.
Mr Manu was speaking at the weekend at a Girls Fair with the aim at ending child-marriages at Jato Zongo.
He was worried that parents and relatives of the victims spearheaded the celebration of such marriages.
Eight girls clubs from various basic schools in the Atebubu-Amanten District participated in the fair, jointly organised by Action Aid Ghana (AAG) and Social Development and Improvement Agency (SODIA), both non-governmental organisations with support from the UNICEF.
Mr. Manu said though education on child-marriage had been intensified in the communities, the practice was still growing because perpetrators regarded it as a traditional practice.
He suggested that since public advocacy was not making meaningful impact in curbing the practice, radical measures must be adopted so that perpetrators would be arrested and prosecuted.
Nana Kwame Afram Denkyira, Programmes Officer at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Office of AAG said fighting child-marriage was a collective responsibility, and appealed to the general public to join the fight to halt the practice.
He said with support from UNICEF, AAG had partnered with other civil society organisations and was implementing projects aimed at reducing the incidence of child marriage in selected districts in the region.
Nana Denkyira said without societal support, the project could not yield positive outcomes and pleaded with assembly members, traditional authorities and other opinion leaders to be vigilant and report suspected cases of child-marriage to the Police.