‘Train More Female Teachers to End Child Marriage’


Segun Awofadeji in Gombe

The Speaker, Gombe Children’s Parliament, Master Umar Farouk Abdullahi, has suggested that employment of more female teachers who would serve as role models for young girls would be an effective solution to early girl child marriage.

Umar spoke on the sidelines of a media stakeholders’ discussion on the state of the girl child, which was held in Gombe yesterday. The round table discussion was sponsored by Save the Children International (SCI).

The speaker advised the government of Gombe State to train and equip more female teachers who would in turn serve as role models to these girls in order to make early marriage unattractive to the school girls.

Farouk stated that the number of female teachers is far less than the male teachers in most of the primary and secondary schools where these female teachers should be made to mentor these girls.

Farouk also advised that more schools should be established within the communities to reduce the distance between schools and homes because, “many parents don’t support their girls going to schools because of insecurity. Parents are afraid when their girls are going or coming back from schools.

“I don’t feel good when girls are not educated. It is the right of every citizen to be educated. So, why should this right be denied the girls? I call on the government to please look at girls education in Gombe State and find a solution.

“I know about these issues because we’ve had many advocacy visits, engagements, campaigns and awareness trainings as well as my commitment. It gave me the knowledge about all these challenges faced by the girls,” he stressed.

Earlier, the Programme Manager, Towards Ending Child Marriage (TECM), Ms. Edith Gumut, said a recent report has shown that prevalence of child marriage has been rising in Nigeria, especially northern Nigeria.

Gumut said that Nigeria is placed 11th in the world ranking of countries with high child marriage, which called for concerted efforts in addressing the malaise. “We’re not saying that they should not marry, but they should attend schools and get matured physically and mentally before marriage. This will give them a meaningful and better future,” she emphasised.

At the end of the meeting, the stakeholders agreed to continue with advocacy and enlightenment campaign on the issues by forming a formidable coalition that would continue to champion the cause as well as pursue education of girls from primary to senior secondary school level.