The Talensi District Girl Child Education Officer Evelyn Abingde has revealed that an alarming number of school-going girls are abandoning their studies and getting married notwithstanding efforts being made to keep them in school.
Speaking with Bolgatanga-based A1 Radio, Ms Abingde stated that the girls usually on their own volition move into the houses of their boyfriends and insist that they are married to them and then refuse to return home no matter the persuasion.
“As of now, we have realised that most of the marriages are not being forced by parents. They are mostly by the children themselves.
You will see some of these girls just run and go and get married. Most of the marriages we are recording are the children themselves,” Ms Abingde lamented.
She stressed that rather than the parents pushing the girls into marriages or endorsing it as was previously practised. These days, the parents do their best to dissuade the girls from getting married. But the girls refuse.
“Sometimes the parents even make efforts to let these children come home or let her, the girl, know that it is not time for her to get married but the girls would say that they want to get married,” she explained.
The issue of child marriages remains a major developmental challenge in the Talensi District and the Upper East Region as a whole.
Reports indicate that 19% of girls in Ghana are married before the age of 18 and 5% are married before their 15th birthday.