Madam Annacleta Viiru who’s the Upper West Regional Girls’ Education Officer at the Ghana Education Service (GES) has said that not even a single girl has completed Sawoubea Junior High School (JHS) in the Wa East District since its establishment about 25 years ago, due to child marriage.
She noted that the highest a girl in that area can go in education is JHS2 before she’s married off to her husband.
Madam Viiru, who revealed this in Wa over the weekend, said the situation is worrying as the girls are denied their right to education and development.
“Last year, about eight girls were sent for marriage and the teachers reported to the Wa East District Gender Desk Officer and we picked the matter up”, she said.
She, however, regretted that at the time of the intervention, two of the girls were pregnant and one had already given birth.
She said the perpetrators of the act were cautioned and asked to sign a bond of good behaviour to release the girls to go back to school and complete their education before getting married.
“Recently, a 15-year-old girl at Boo in the Lawra Municipality was given out for marriage but when the girl’s parents were questioned they said there is nothing wrong with that”, Madam Viiru said.
The Girls’ Education Officer attributed the challenge to cultural practices and called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to enable girls to have access to education to develop their full potential.
She said several factors such as teenage pregnancy, elopement; abduction and puberty rights are affecting the education of girls in the region and called for stiffer punishment for perpetrators of the acts to serve as a deterrent to others.
Speaking at a recent education forum in Wa, Madam Viiru said out of a total of 6,418 girls who registered for the 2019 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) 35 of them were pregnant.
Madam Viiru said her unit was saddled with resource and logistics constraints which are impeding efforts to effectively monitor the education of girls in the region.