Kumasi, July 7, GNA - The Ashanti Regional Manager of the Islamic Education Unit, Alhaji Amadu Abudu, has counselled Muslim parents against forcing their children into early marriages.
The practice, he said, "is giving oxygen to illiteracy and ignorance in the Zongo communities."
He was speaking at a "Quiz and Spelling Bee" competition, organized for the Islamic Primary and Junior High Schools, in Kumasi.
Many young Muslim girls, he observed, tended to place little or no value on education because mid-way through it, they would be compelled to drop out to get married.
Alhaji Abudu said this would have to change to give equal opportunities to both girls and boys to fully exploit and develop their God-given talents.
It was held under the auspices of the Community Redemption Foundation, a non-governmental organization, (NGO) and formed part of efforts at helping to raise the academic performance of the school children.
Alhaji Abudu encouraged the pupils to be disciplined and work hard on their books, telling them that, this was the way to achieve success in life.
Yusifiya Islamic JHS emerged champions in the quiz competition, scoring a total of 138 points.
For their prize, they received a trophy, Qur'ans, wall clock, Mathematical sets, exercise books and certificate.
Nasru-Deen Islamic JHS, the runners up, were presented with school bags, Islamic Literature, exercise books, pens and souvenirs.
For the "spelling bee," Master Ibrahim Seidu of Yusifiya came first, beating Miss Aminatu Abdul Aziz of the same school and Miss Hafsat Kamil of the Ghana Muslim Mission to second and third positions, respectively.
Sheikh Ahmed Nazir, a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Languages, praised the NGO for the work it was doing to foster social cohesion among the Muslim youth and for helping in the human resource development in the Zongo communities.
He urged the organization to intensify its efforts at promoting the Islamic faith among the children.
Mr Obaidullahi Arimiyawu, President of the NGO, pledged to sustain the fight to bring down ignorance, poverty and illiteracy in the Zongos through education.