By Erica Apeatua Addo, GNA
Tarkwa (W/R), Dec. 25, GNA - The Apinto Divisional Council has organised a maiden girl-child education seminar for over 1,200 pupils and students in the Prestea Huni-Valley and Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipalities.
The seminar, which formed part of this year’s Amankuma festival celebration was held at the Gaddiel Acquaah Methodist church in Tarkwa.
Speaking on the topic “Girl child education and national development” the Girl-Child coordinator for Tarkwa, Madam Hawa Salifu explained that the education of girls had become a serious agenda in many educational fore and debate in Ghana, the world’s bank, forum for African women educationalists and many other interest groups.
She said the groups were willing to spend money and time to promote girl child education because sustainable human development could not be effective if more than half of the human race made up of girls and women remained ignorant, marginalised and discriminated against.
Governments and Non-Governmental Organisations also realised that for national and international development to be achieved, there was the need to promote girl-child education, she noted.
“There are important benefits for national development when girls are educated. An educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen”, she pointed out.
In addition, Madam Salifu emphasised that educating the girl child would increase literacy, women in politics, reduce poverty and human trafficking
She mentioned some challenges inhibiting the education of the girl child to include; poverty, cultural beliefs and traditional gender roles.
“Traditional beliefs cause parents to value sons more than daughters. Many girls engage in extensive household chores, work in the markets alongside their mothers and care for younger siblings, while their brothers study and play”, she explained.
Madam Salifu said “Many girls are also given out as house helps and most of them fell victim to men who use them as sex objects”.
She stated that to resolve these issues the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service therefore established the Girl Child Unit at the national, regional, Metropolitan, Municipal and District levels since 1997 with the objective of promoting enrollment of girl education at all levels.
The Tarkwa-Nsuaem Education Directorate Girl-Child Unit was carrying out numerous activities to promote girl education in the municipality, she indicated.
“The unit has selected one female teacher in all our basic and second cycle schools, as school-based facilitators to over-see the well-being of the girls in the schools. They also serve as focal points for the girl education officer” she".
According to Madam Salifu, “Periodic visits are paid to the schools to interact with the facilitators and girls to find out their challenges and how they could be addressed. Through the interaction, they are educated and encouraged on wide range of issues, which are likely to retard their progress such as teenage pregnancy, absenteeism and per-marital sex”.
She added that they formed Girl-Child clubs in the various schools and topics such as menstrual management, sex education, personal hygiene, how to clean home and advantages of maintaining virginity are discussed.
She appealed to benevolent institutions and individuals in the Municipality to support the activities of the Girl-Child unit.
Nana Abena Kunadjoa II, queenmother of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area appealed to parents to invest in their wards education.
She asked the pupils and students to take their studies seriously and shun bad friends who would only destroy their future.
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