Child Marriage Robs Girls Of Potential Education Fadhlina
Child marriage must be addressed as it can deprive underage girls of their potential and hinder their access to education, stressed Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.
Failing to tackle this issue could create gender discrimination in society, she warned.
Fadhlina assured that her ministry will create better policies to handle this issue more objectively and comprehensively.
While the compulsory education policy only applied to children until Year Six of schooling, she said the Education Ministry is working on passing a law to make it mandatory for children to attend secondary school.
"In this case, it must be compulsory for children to be in school until secondary level.
"The ministry can also accommodate students who get married at a young age while still in school to continue their education.
"This includes students who become pregnant while still in school," she said in a televised broadcast in conjunction with International Women's Day 2023.
The PKR Women chief said children who get married or become pregnant must not be discriminated against.
Fadhlina assured that her ministry will assist any student who is excluded or has status barriers to pursuing education at the school level, to gain continued access to quality education.
"No one should be excluded in the context of education. In this case, parents need to be educated to be aware of the importance of educational space for children.
"It cannot be denied that there are religious groups that allow children to get married at a young age, but we need to look at these children in the context of their future.
"Therefore, every part of society including parents, religious leaders, and the media need to play a role in empowering education among women starting from school," she said.
This is the first time a minister from the coalition government has brought up the issue of child marriage since the new administration came into power after GE15. - Mkini
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