THE OBUASI Municipal Director of Education, Johnny Owusu-Boadi has criticized the harmful practice of child marriages in some parts of the country, describing the situation as ‚Äúdestructive to the growth and development of young girls.‚ÄĚ
According to him, giving out young girls to early marriages is one of the extreme forms of violence which strips girls from their basic human right – the right to education.
He believes many girls drop out of school when they are married young, losing their right to education and life skills needed to participate in the economic development of the country.
Speaking at the 7th¬†graduation ceremony of the Independence Cluster of Schools in Obuasi, he noted that child marriage had become a scourge that steals the innocence of most Ghanaian female children, perpetuating a cycle of poverty, ignorance and discrimination down through the generations.
It is a common knowledge in Ghana that girls under the age of 18 are married off daily often without their consent and sometimes to much older men.
The¬†UN Convention on the Rights of the Child¬†considers marriage before the age of 18 a fundamental human rights violation.
Nonetheless, Mr. Owusu-Boadi indicated that many more child brides can be found in Ghana.
‚ÄúIt is important to advise parents not to deny their girl child the right to education by giving them out to early marriages,‚ÄĚ he noted.
The education director hinted that parental responsibility was critical to making young children realize the importance of education as a tool for life-long living.
Grace Sarpomaa Amoako, Headmistress of Independence M/A Junior High School¬†(JHS) ‚ÄėB‚Äô, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues, said the schools had a total student population of 2,567 comprising 1,224 boys and 1,343 girls.
Right from its establishment she stated that the school had won enviable positions in all spheres of school life notably in the area of academics and sports.
She disclosed that the school achieved a 100 percent record in the 2011 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
According to her, despite the numerous achievements of the school, which was established in 1981 and the first classroom block inaugurated on March 6, 1985, ‚Äėwee‚Äô smokers had taken over the premises especially at night and during weekends due to the absence of a fenced wall.
The headmistress told the gathering that inadequate classrooms for both JHS and primary sections continued to be a challenge, saying the situation had compelled them to put more than 100 pupils into one classroom.
‚ÄúThe situation does not only negatively affect teaching and learning, but is also injurious to the health of both teachers and pupils.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúLack of science and computer laboratories is also making teaching of these subjects very difficult,‚ÄĚ she pointed out, adding that provision of good drinking water and electricity also remained a challenge.
¬†From Ernest Kofi Adu, Obuasi