SHS Girl Forced To Stop School To Marry
A schoolgirl is in tears at Paga, Ghana’s border town near Burkina Faso, after her parents pulled the curtain down on her education too soon and asked her to prepare for marriage.
Kawala Hawa Kabiru, 18, got placement with aggregate 33 at the Awe Senior High Technical School (AWESCO) in the Upper East region after she took her Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in June, this year.
But she was restrained from grabbing an admission to study General Arts as her parents suddenly came up with a no-look-back marriage arrangement. They also urged her to take up a sewing apprenticeship as part of preparations for a wifely status.
Tearful Hawa, who has missed lessons for about eight weeks since the beginning of the new academic year, told Starr News her parents’ move posed a hammer blow to a dream she had always harboured of growing up to be a nurse. She said she preferred to stitch with a needle in a hospital to doing same with a needle in a dressmaking shop in the future.
“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,” said misty-eyed Hawa who reportedly declined in strong terms when her parents gave her money to purchase some sewing materials demanded by her would-be sewing instructress.
Neighbours say the hijab-wearing teenager has spent almost the entire first academic term at home unhappily running errands, fetching water, gathering firewood, winnowing fresh harvests and feeding chaff gathered from the threshing floor to the family’s goats and sheep confined to a wooden shed.
We’ve Bought Sewing Machine for Her – Guardians
Her parents reportedly issued the stop-school order from nearby Burkina Faso and instructed her guardians in Ghana to effect the bidding on their behalf.
When Starr News visited the guardians at Paga, they indicated that it would be difficult to backtrack on the decisions they had taken on Hawa’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,” Hawa’s stand-in father, Awuvire Kabiru, told Starr News.
Asked if the girl would be allowed to continue with 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,” replied Awuvire, seated under a grass-roofed shed erected on unpolished log pillars.