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Walewale school pupils petition DCE and Chiefs over teenage pregnancy and early child marriage


imageBasic School Children inWalewale in the West Mamprusi district of the northern region have petitioned chiefs and the district chief executive of the area to end all barriers hindering their education.

The children are requesting chiefs and the assembly to ensure that early forced marriages among children of school going-age and community members impregnating school girls be stopped.

In their petition, the children also pleaded with the custodians of the land in West Mamprusi to exercise their powers in curbing forced marriages and also impress on parents to stop their children from going to the southern sector for head-porters’ jobs, popularly called Kayaye.

The children, who presented their petition to the DCE at a durbar of stakeholders in education, organized by the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), in collaboration with the West Mamprusi District Education Directorate, appealed to the assembly to gazette all by-laws on obstacles hindering girl child education.

The children’s petition further urged the assembly to support NGOs to ensure that girls and children with disabilities are enrolled in schools and complete successfully.

The durbar was on the theme, ‘The relevance of and challenges of girl-child education-the role of key stakeholders.’

The by-laws when gazetted, the children said, will serve as a deterrent to perpetrators of forced marriages and teenage pregnancy. The children’s petition follows increasing teenage pregnancy and forced early child marriages in the area.

The District Chief Executive for West Mamprusi, David Wuni, assured the school children and stakeholders that his outfit will ensure that the by-laws are gazetted to protect them.

Mr Wuni, who is also the chairman for the District Education Oversight Committee (DEOC), appealed to religious and traditional leaders to support the effort in implementing the by-lawswhen gazetted. The West Mamprusi DCE, acknowledged the continuing dwindling of education in the area, and said the issue needs a holistic approach to address it.

The Guabulg-rana Salifu Mahama Tampurie, who is also an elder at Nayiri’s palace, on behalf of chiefs in the area, said there are moves to put in place certain rules that ban girls from attending dances, after certain hours of the night. The chief also dismissed suggestions that it’s only community members who impregnates the girls.

The Guabulg-Rana said most of the school girls are impregnated by their peers in the school contrary to the wide perception that it is men in the various communities.

He however attributed the problem to poor parenting and urged parents to be responsible for their children education.

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