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Abuse of girl-child worries NGO in Imo

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*Students of Ihiagwa Secondary School in Owerri West Local Government Area, during a career development seminar organised by Virgin Heart Foundation.

By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

Rural areas have been identified as where cases of children being forced to take up careers against there talents are dominant. As a result of this development, parents and guardians in Imo State have been cautioned against foisting on their children especially the girl-child, careers which do not bring out the best in them.

Giving some of the reasons behind what  was tagged abuse of right to choice of career of the girl-child, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, Virgin Heart Foundation, said parents and guardians should take larger part of the blame.

According to the founder of the NGO, Peace Dike, during a career development seminar at Ihiagwa Secondary School in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, the aim of the seminar was to change the perception while allowing the parents guide their children properly.

To correct the trend, she said villages have become the target to start correcting the disservice done to children more especially the girl-child which reduces the extent they can go in pursuit of their future.

In most cases, she said,  lack of freedom to make career choice by the girl-child, consequently see them go into marriage unprepared.

She added that parents or guardians  being the sponsor of their children’s education, have forgotten that a girl-child also has a right to choose a career, adding that the girl-child deserves better treatment that would encourage her potentials.

Dike noted that although parents want the best for their children, they should also  allow them pursue careers that drive their passion.

She was worried that self-centered parents and guardians, are obsessed in choosing career for their children with the reason that it would yield more money for their children by the time they graduate from school.

As captured by South-East Voice, Dike said: “We blame the parents for not diligently observing their children to find out those areas of human endeavour they are passionate about and to encourage them to develop their potentials but would rather force their will on their children.

“Parents have a serious role to play in guarding their children in choosing their careers, which is of course the deciding moment in their lives because once you choose the wrong career, you will feel like you are living the life of another person and you won’t find fulfillment.”

She enjoined the female students to “learn to set goals for yourselves, dream up what you want to become and pursue it with determination, don’t be distracted by the challenges you encounter, nothing great ever comes easy or without a price tag.

“Most young people make poor choices as a result of the influence of parents on their children’s choice of career, the decisions they make in their early life, what school to go to and the subjects to study.

“The decision to go to university, the courses to choose can impact their career path. If this decision is heavily swayed by parental preference, children may end up following a vocation that, deep down, they are not interested in.”

Speaking also, the Principal of Ihiagwa Secondary School, Margaret Udeze, commended the Virgin Heart Foundation for choosing the school for their training.

“I want to say thank you for exposing and training our students in acquiring the capacity to determine their future. What you have done would impact positively on the lives of these children now and in the future.

“We will encourage them to sustain what they have learnt and make sure that they use it in creating good time for themselves.”

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