Madam Felicity Mawuli Adobe, Girl-Child Education Officer, Ningo-Prampram District, has emphasized the need for parents to enroll children, particularly females, in school on time.
She said children who start school late may have greater obligations for helping their parents with housework, farm work, or wage employment, which raises the opportunity cost of studying and makes school less appealing to these youngsters.
Madam Adobe gave the advice in lecture on “The Need for Girls to Attend School” at a mentorship session for adolescent girls organised by the Department of Gender of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection.
She said enrolling children, especially the girl-child at the appropriate school age could reduced the prevalence of teenage pregnancy and other undesirable behaviour displayed by some students in school.
She said available data indicated that the majority of the girls who became pregnant in school were beyond the age of 18 and children aged zero to five years should be in kindergarten, six to 12 years in primary school, 13 to 15 years in junior high school, and 16 to 18 years in senior cycle education.
She highlighted early sex, child marriage, poverty, menstruation, onerous home chores, gender-based violence, and a lack of time management as hurdles to girls’ education.
“The children are present in the community; their parents will not bring them to school; they will be at home. They’ll bring them to class one when they’re 12 years old, so by class six, they’re approximately 18 or 20 and start to develop sexual feelings,” she explained.
She urged the adolescent girls not to engage in sexual activities, especially while they were under their parents’ roofs.
The Girl-Child Education Officer stated that education was both formal and informal, but that it was critical that they had formal education to the point that they could function effectively in the informal sector.