The Niger State Government on Monday disclosed that it had secured no fewer than 13 convictions in its effort to stop the withdrawal of girls from school for early marriages.
The state Commissioner for Education, Fatima Madugu, who made this known to journalists in Minna, said the government also “supported seven young girls to go back to schools after forced marriages” while some other cases were still pending in court.
Madugu, who declined to name the convicts or the towns where they were convicted, said, “Any parent that withdraws a girl child will be sanctioned; we should allow our female children to go to school like their male counterparts.”
She also defended the discriminatory policy of the government in the payment of public examination fees, saying, “because of the free education policy of the government people from neighbouring states were trooping to the state to register for the public examinations. We are trying to straighten the records after which we will revert to the old policy.”