Group advocates free education to reduce early marriage



Women Environment and Youth Development Initiative (WOYODEV), an NGO, has called for free education to reduce  incidences of girl child marriage in the country.

Mrs Tosin Ajayi, Executive Director of WOYODEV, made the call on Thursday in Ilorin, during a Stakeholder’s Meeting tagged: “Implementation of second phase of `End Child Bride Project”.

Ajayi stated that the ‘End Child Bride’ initiative had been able to profile over 6,000 girls in Kwara, and supported 150 others to return to school.

She recalled that earlier at the first phase of the meeting, it was decided that it was not just enough to advocate at the state level, but to go to the grassroots and set up a mechanism for holistic support for the girl-child.

According to her, this support will ensure the girl-child will not be married off early and exposed.

The Director, Kwara Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Mariam Yusuf, however, charged law enforcement agencies to help in implementing the Child Rights Act to make parents understand better.

She reiterated that the child bride portended great danger, noting however, that education would remedy such occurrences.

Yusuf, therefore, appealed to parents to ensure their children/wards were in school; and desist from forcing the girl child into early marriage.

Also speaking, Antonia Omonogoh, of the Child protection Network said: “`Free and compulsory education should be well implemented by the government.

“Education should be free as stated in the law, to cover school lockers, chairs, as well as Parent/Teachers Association (PTA) fees,” she added.

Omonogoh was of the view that providing free education in its totality, would encourage parents who might not be able to afford certain fees and equipment, to jettison girl-child marriage.

Adewoye Olusesan, from the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), advised teachers against extorting parents in the guise of PTA levy.

He observed that such “teachers are illegally making their livelihood from PTA levies, which is not supposed to be.”


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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