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23.02.2005 Education

Place Priority On Girls' Education-Moslem Parents Advised

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FEBRUARY 23, 2005 -- Moslem parents in the North have been advised to place much priority on the education of their girl-child rather than giving them out for early marriage. Educating the girl-child or providing them with skills would add value to, and make them supportive of their spouses rather than burdens on them.

An Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Al-Husein Zakaria gave the advice when delivering a paper on the "Importance of Girl-child Education and Challenges' at a seminar for Imams, Islamic scholars and local Chiefs in Tamale. It was organized by Dawah Academy, an NGO propagating Islam, and sponsored by Ibis Ghana. Sheikh Zakaria lamented over the low enrolment of Moslem girls, especially in tertiary institutions and noted that in 1984, out of female student population of 700 at the University of Ghana, five were Moslems, out of which only one was from the North. Sheikh Zakaria said as at last year, the number had increased to 120 with a handful coming from the north. He urged Moslem parents to follow in the footstep of Prophet Mohammed, saying the greatest legacy they could bequeath their children is education. This, Sheikh Zakaria said would help them to understand their religion and serve Allah better as well as keep abreast of modernism.

The Director of Dawah Academy, Ibrahim Afadzie said the essence of the seminar is to stimulate the participants' interest to focus more on the need to support the education of the Moslem girl-child in Northern region. Mr Afadzie advised Moslem parents to stop grooming their girl-child for marriage and rather channel their wealth into educating them, especially for secular knowledge. This, he said would help them underdressed their fundamental human rights better and enhance national development and cohesion.

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