The Parents and guardians of an 18-year-old girl who live in Paga in the Upper East Region have stopped her from continuing her education and asked her to prepare for marriage.
According to Accra-based Starr FM, the 18-year-old Kawala Hawa Kabiru was told by her guardians that she will take up a sewing apprenticeship as part of preparations for a wifely status.
Kabiru who got aggregate 33 after she took her Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in June 2017 was placed in the Awe Senior High Technical School (AWESCO) in the Upper East region.
However her guardians failed to allow her to attend the school because she needed to prepare for marriage.
“The results came. I got [aggregate] 33. My parents said I would not go to school. They said I should go and marry. I said no, I wanted to go to school. I want to [be in] school.”
Even though Kabiru has missed almost the entire first term of the academic year, she said it is her wish to become a nurse than a seamstress in future.
However, the guardians of Kabiru who live with her in Paga said they are only acting on the instructions of her biological parents who live in Burkina Faso.
The guardians said it would be difficult to backtrack on the decisions they had taken on Kabiru’s future.
“We have paid GH¢300 to the mistress who will train her how to sew. We have also bought the sewing machine at GH¢300. Everything we have spent is up to GH¢700. If she has to go to school, who is going to refund the money we have spent for her to learn how to sew? She is not the only child in this house. I also have a sister who is completing school this year at BOGISS (the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School). We are spending money on them. Even though education is free, we still have to spend on them to buy certain things.”
When asked if he would allow Hawa continue her education if the money spent so far on the proposed apprenticeship was refunded, Mr Kabiru said her father would have the final say.
“If we get the money back, I would advise my elder brother (Hawa’s father) in Burkina Faso.”
Meanwhile, the District Chief Executive for Kassena-Nankana West, Clement Dandori, said the District Assembly will me with Hawa’s family to ensure she is sent back to continue her education.
“The behaviour of the girl’s parents is new to me. I don’t even know the family. I don’t know where they are located. I think with this information, we only need to get in touch with the family. I will set up a team to go to the family to find out what actually is the problem. I can understand the parents if the free senior school education policy was not in place. Perhaps, they could argue that they wouldn’t have money to pay the fees.”
“But now that we have free senior high education and it is the desire of the girl to pursue formal education to the point, all that we need to do is sit down with the family and let them understand that it is not in their long-run interest to cut short the girl’s ambition. We want to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 5— which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by the year 2030. We definitely will meet with her family,” he added.