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School Children Call For Reforms

2006-12-11 22:28:24
This article has been read 668 times.

Schoolchildren in the Talensi/Nabdam District of the Upper East Region have called on traditional rulers and district assemblies to pass bye-laws or reform some of the cultural practices that inhibit the advancement of girls in education.

They mentioned some of such cultural practices as forced marriages, bethrotals, elopement, female genital mutilation and bride prices.

They further appealed to government institutions and non-governmental organisations, as well as the Ghana Education Service (GES) to strengthen public awareness on the importance of educating the girl-child.

The schoolchildren made the call in an eight-point resolution passed at a workshop at Tongo in the Talensi/Nabdam District.

The workshop was organised by the Widows and Orphans Ministry (WOM), a charity NGO. “We also want to remind our parents that they have a responsibility to educate us.

We once again want to emphasise that the place of the girl-child is not the kitchen, all children must be sent to school, because they have the right to be educated,.” they added.

They urged the Director General of the GES and regional and district directors of education to develop and enforce strict disciplinary systems that could lead to the sacking, suspension and the removal of teachers found guilty of abusing girls.

“We want to use this opportunity to commend the government of Ghana for introducing the Capitation Grant, which is meant to ensure access to education for all,” they stressed.

They, however, urged the GES to ensure that the grant did not end up in the pockets of some officers and headteachers.

“We also appeal to the government and civil society organisations to pass and implement laws setting the minimum ages of both men and women for marriages and also ensure that girls are not prematurely pulled out from schools for the purpose of marriage,” they pleaded.

During a presentation on violence against girls and their right to education, the Upper East Regional Gender and Women’s Rights Programme Officer, Mr Gregory Dery, said violence against girls was a serious obstacle to the attainment of internationally agreed educational goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

source: Graphic

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