Effect of Early Marriage

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Beranda > special education > Young people’s views on early marriage and education, northern Nigeria* Young people’s views on early marriage and education, northern Nigeria* November 12, 2009 depuguh Tinggalkan komentar Go to comments Danladi Mamman **

Early marriage is more common in the northern parts of Nigeria. Here, many parents prefer to marry off their daughters at a very young age, for cultural and economic reasons. The rate of illiteracy among females is higher here than in the south. Recent studies have highlighted improved primary and secondary enrolment rates for girls. Girls who have dropped out of school, or not been enrolled in the first place, are likely to be pushed into early marriage. Marriage usually prevents them from starting or resuming their education. Response to the problem

In recent years, states in northern Nigeria, such as Niger and Bauchi states, have enacted laws prohibiting the withdrawal of girls from school for marriage, but this is not being enforced. The Federal Government of Nigeria and the 19 Northern States Government have introduced initiatives to tackle early marriage and its impact on education (e.g.public sensitisation on girls’ reproductive health and rights and the importance of allowing girls to complete senior secondary school; strengthening links between schools and communities to improve girls’ retention in school; changing girls’ attitudes towards education; and establishing more schools for females only). Some initiatives have yielded positive results: married girls/single mothers who had dropped out have restarted school, and parents have started to allow girls to complete senior secondary school before marriage and even proceed to higher education. The Child Rights Act was enacted in 2003 by the Federal Government and many state governments are following suit. It states that every child, irrespective of gender and disability among others, has the right to good quality education and to complete his/her education. The Universal Basic Education programme was also established, providing for nine years of compulsory education. All levels of government and some non-governmental organisations are taking steps to address early marriage and encourage children to complete school. This includes the re-establishment of guidance and creation of gender sensitive curricula, making school environments conducive for learning, and involving communities and traditional rulers in schools affairs, etc. Many northern state governments have established secondary schools for married females. In Niger state, for instance, there is the Women’s Day College in Minna, the state capital. Yet despite this progress, there is still much to be done to tackle early marriage if the goals of Education for All are to be achieved. The voices of the children and young people affected by this practice need to be heard if successful solutions are really to be found. Moving forward – young people suggest action

Girl Child Empowerment Nigeria (GCEN) decided to seek children’s views. As part of our work campaigning for the education of marginalised females, a group of 23 students from eight schools across Niger state was interviewed. They were asked what should be done to solve the problem of early marriage and its impact on children’s participation and achievement in education. These views will feed into our advocacy work. They made many excellent suggestions, showing the importance of consulting young people. They have so much relevant experience from which education policy-makers can learn. Here are some of their recommendations: Educate parents

“There are many things that need to be done to solve this problem of early marriage and education. Our government should first of all put...
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